Ridley at San Diego Film Festival 2013
|Born||John Ridley Jr.
1965 (age 49–50)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin US
|Notable work(s)||12 Years a Slave
|Parents||John Ridley III|
Ridley was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to a father, John Ridley III, who was an ophthalmologist, and mother Terry Ridley, who worked in the Milwaukee Public Schools. Ridley's family moved to Mequon, Wisconsin when he was 7 years old. He is the middle sibling of two sisters.
Knocked around New York after college doing stand-up comedy and landing spots on “Letterman” and “The Tonight Show.” Moved to L.A. in 1990. Broke into TV, writing for “Martin,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “The John Laroquette Show.”
Wrote his first novel, Stray Dogs, the story of a small-time gambler who finds himself helplessly stranded in a tiny Arizona town, which was made into Stone’s U Turn. Wrote his second novel, Love Is a Racket, story of a small-time con artist trying to wrangle his way out of debt. Wrote third novel, Everybody Smokes in Hell, story of a small-time loser who finds himself in possession of the last recording of a dead rock star. Made his debut as film director on his first screenplay, Cold Around the Heart. Wrote Spoils of War, which was adapted into Three Kings. Returned to television as writer and supervising producer on “Third Watch.”
Ridley wrote the novels The Drift, Those Who Walk in Darkness, A Conversation with the Mann, Love is a Racket, Everybody Smokes in Hell, and Stray Dogs.
The Ridley-penned script for 12 Years a Slave won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, making Ridley the second African-American to win the award after Geoffrey S. Fletcher for Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire.
|1994||The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air||Writer|
|1995||The John Larroquette Show||Writer|
|1998||Team Knight Rider||Writer|
|1999 - 2004||Third Watch||Writer|
|2005||Barbershop: The Series||Writer|
|2005||The Wanda Sykes Show||Writer|
Works and publications
- Ridley, John. Stray Dogs. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997. iSBN 978-0-345-41345-1
- Ridley, John. Love Is a Racket: A Novel. New York: Knopf, 1998. ISBN 978-0-375-40142-8
- Ridley, John. Everybody Smokes in Hell. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1999. ISBN 978-0-375-40143-5
- Ridley, John. A Conversation with the Mann: A Novel. New York: Warner Books, 2002. ISBN 978-0-446-52836-8
- Ridley, John. The Drift. New York: Knopf, 2002. ISBN 978-0-375-41182-3
- Ridley, John. Those Who Walk in Darkness. New York: Warner Books, 2003. ISBN 978-0-446-53093-4
- Ridley, John, and Patricia R. Floyd. What Fire Cannot Burn. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, 2011, 2007. ISBN 978-1-456-10151-0
- Ridley, John, and Ben Oliver. The Authority: Human on the Inside. La Jolla, CA: WildStorm Productions, 2004. 978-1-401-20070-1
- Ridley, John. The Razor's Edge: Warblade #5. DC Comics. 2005.
- Ridley, John, Georges Jeanty, and Karl C. Story. The American Way. La Jolla, Calif: WildStorm/DC Comics, 2007. ISBN 978-1-401-21256-8
- Ridley, John. Ten Thousand Years. 2005 (world premiere).
- Ridley, John. "The Manifesto of Ascendancy for the Modern American Nigger." Esquire, December 2006, Volume 146, Issue 6.
- Dudek, Duane (5 September 2013). "With '12 Years a Slave,' Ridley brings the heat to fall film season". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Shattuck, Kathryn (16 January 2014). "What the Writer Had to Edit From ‘12 Years a Slave’". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Chandler, Kurt (31 January 2008). "How to be a Famous Hollywood Writer". Milwaukee Magazine. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Bence, Susan (4 March 2014). "Oscar Winner John Ridley's Father Talks About Life Before Desegregation" (Audio). WUWM Milwaukee. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Dudek, Duane (16 January 2014). "Mequon native Ridley talks Oscar nominations for '12 Years A Slave'". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- McCarthy, Sean L. (3 March 2014). "Oscar-winner John Ridley, from former stand-up comedian to adapted screenplay for “12 Years A Slave”". The Comic's Comic. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Cieply, Michael; Barnes, Brooks (2 March 2014). "A Landmark Oscar Win for ‘12 Years a Slave’". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Gross, Terry (2 May 2007). "A Disenchanted Look at 'The American Way'" (Audio interview). Fresh Air (NPR). Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Feldman, Eric; Carr, David; Scott, A.O. (3 March 2014). "No Great Surprises for Oscar Night" (Video). The New York Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Lee, Chris (2 March 2014). "Oscars 2014: '12 Years a Slave' wins for adapted screenplay". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- "John Ridley, easy writer". Entertainment Weekly. 8 October 1999. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
- Gennusa, Chris R. "John Ridley: Burnt Noir." Creative Screenwriting. Winter 1997, v. 4 n.4, pp. 33–38