Timothy Harris (writer)

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Timothy Hyde Harris (born July 21, 1946) is an American author, screenwriter and producer. He has been publishing works of fiction since the late 1960s and has been involved in filmmaking since the early 1980s. For his work in film, Harris has been nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay as well as an Annie Award for Writing in a Feature Production.

Early life[edit]

Born in Los Angeles, Harris has lived in several countries throughout Europe and Northern Africa. After his parents divorced at a young age, his stepfather—an architect—worked in different countries and the family moved frequently. At the age of five, he was sent to a boarding school in Northern Africa. He then lived in Italy, Netherlands and England before his family moved back to the United States. Since then, he has moved between Europe and the United States several times.[1]

In an interview in 2004, Harris claimed that he wrote his first book when he lived in London and was "seven or eight" years old. He was ill "for about a month" and wrote the book while bedridden. His first published work was Kronski/McSmash which he wrote around the age of 20 and had it published in 1969 in the United Kingdom and 1970 in the United States.[1]

Film career[edit]

Harris' film career started in the 1980s when he struck a friendship with Herschel Weingrod. With Weingrod, Harris collaborated on several projects writing stories and screenplays for films such as Trading Places, Brewster's Millions, Twins, Kindergarten Cop and Space Jam. The pair also produced Joel Schumacher's 1993 film Falling Down.[2] In reviewing Woody Allen's film Zelig for The New York Times in July 1983, film critic Vincent Canby said "Trading Places is one of the best American comedies in a long time, but I'd be hard-put to assign more responsibility for the film's success to its director, John Landis, than to Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod, who wrote it...".[3] Harris and Weingrod were nominated for the Best Original Screenplay award at the 37th British Academy Film Awards for their work on Trading Places but ultimately lost the award to Paul D. Zimmerman for The King of Comedy.[4] In spite of such success and recognition, in a 1991 article written for Miami New Times, Ben Greenman wrote about the duo that their "resume reads like a catalogue of the past decade's most irritating films."[5] Harris was again nominated for writing honors in 2010 when he was nominated for the award for Writing in a Feature Production at the 37th Annie Awards. His nomination was for the screenplay he wrote for the 2009 animated film Astro Boy but he lost this award to Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach for Fantastic Mr. Fox.[6]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Kronski/McSmash, 1969
  • Steelyard Blues, 1972 ("based on an original screenplay by David S. Ward")
  • Kyd for Hire, 1977
  • Heatwave, 1979 ("based on the screenplay by Herschel Weingrod")
  • Good Night and Good-Bye, 1979
  • American Gigolo, 1979 ("based on the screenplay by Paul Schrader")
  • Unfaithful Servant, 2004

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Credit
1981 Cheaper to Keep Her Writer
1983 Trading Places Writer
1985 Brewster's Millions Writer
1988 Street of Dreams Writer (books – Good Night and Good-Bye and Kyd for Hire), co-executive producer
Twins Writer
My Stepmother Is an Alien Writer
1990 Kindergarten Cop Screenplay
1991 Pure Luck Screenplay
1993 Falling Down Producer
1996 Space Jam Writer
2009 Astro Boy Screenplay

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nolan, Tom. Interview – Timothy Harris, January Magazine, May 2004. Accessed April 13, 2010.
  2. ^ Thomas, Bob. "Falling Down seen as another violent 'urban schocker'", Associated Press, February 28, 1993. Accessed April 13, 2010.
  3. ^ Canby, Vincent. Woody Allen Continues To Refine His Cinematic Art, The New York Times, July 17, 1983. Accessed April 13, 2010.
  4. ^ Film Nominations 1983, BAFTA. Accessed April 13, 2010.
  5. ^ Greenman, Ben. Dumb Luck, Miami New Times, August 14, 1991. Accessed April 13, 2010.
  6. ^ 37th Annual Annie Nominations and Awards Recipients, International Animated Film Association. Accessed April 13, 2010.

External links[edit]