Alan Ball (screenwriter)
Alan Ball in 2008
May 13, 1957 |
Marietta, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||University of Georgia, Florida State University|
|Occupation||Screenwriter, director, producer|
|Notable work||American Beauty (1999)
Six Feet Under (2001–2005)
True Blood (2008–2014)
|Television||Grace Under Fire, Cybill|
He is particularly notable for writing American Beauty and for creating Six Feet Under and True Blood, work which earned him an Academy Award, an Emmy, and awards from the Writers, Directors, and Producers Guilds.
Ball was born in Marietta, Georgia, to Frank and Mary Ball, an aircraft inspector and a homemaker. His older sister, Mary Ann, was killed in a car accident when Ball was 13; he was in the passenger seat at the time. He attended high school in Marietta, and went on to attend the University of Georgia and Florida State University, from which he graduated in 1980 with a degree in theater arts. After college, he began work as a playwright at the General Nonsense Theater Company in Sarasota, Florida.
Film and television career
Ball has written two films, American Beauty (1999) and Towelhead (2007), the latter of which he also produced and directed. He is also the creator, writer and executive producer of the HBO drama series Six Feet Under and True Blood. He was showrunner for True Blood for its first five seasons.
In 2010 Ball began work on a television adaptation of the crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston, to be titled All Signs of Death. In December 2010, after several months of pre-production, HBO cancelled production on All Signs of Death.
In January 2015, it was announced that Ball's period musical drama Virtuoso had had a pilot ordered by HBO. The pilot will be executively produced by Elton John. Confirmed actors to be starring in the show include Peter Macdissi, Iva Babic, Francois Civil, Lindsay Farris, Nico Mirallegro and Alex Lawther.
Ball has discussed his Buddhist faith in numerous interviews, noting how it has influenced his film making. In an interview with Amazon.com, Ball commented on the iconic scene in American Beauty with the plastic bag, stating, "I had an encounter with a plastic bag! And I didn't have a video camera, like Ricky does... There's a Buddhist notion of the miraculous within the mundane, and I think we certainly live in a culture that encourages us not to look for that." Ball has also discussed how his Buddhism has shaped themes in Six Feet Under and True Blood which he has substantially contributed to.
Ball is gay and has been called "a strong voice for [the] LGBT community". In 2008 he made Out magazine's annual list of the 100 most impressive gay men and women. He lives in Los Angeles with his partner, Peter Macdissi, who has starred in several of Ball's works.
For his work in television and film, Ball has received critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations, including an Academy Award, an Emmy a Golden Globe, and awards from the Writers, Directors, and Producers Guilds.
|"The Road to Paris, Texas"||1994||
|"Grace vs. Wade"||1994||Writer|
|"A Night at the Opera"||1995||Writer|
|"Memphis Bound"||1995||Writer, with Marc Flanagan|
|"Zing!"||1995||Teleplay, with Lee Aronsohn|
|"To Sir, with Lust"||1996||Writer|
|"Three Women and a Dummy"||1996||Writer|
|"Venice or Bust"||1996||Writer|
|"Name That Tune"||1997||Teleplay, with Michael Langworthy|
|"Regarding Henry"||1997||Story||Season 4 premiere|
|"Halloween"||1997||Teleplay, with Mark Hudis|
|"Where's a Harpoon When You Need One?"||1997||Teleplay, with Kim Friese|
|"Oh Brother!"||1998||Teleplay, with Mark Hudis|
|"Good Pop, Bad Pop"||1999||Writer|
|"An Open Book"||2001||Writer|
||Season 1 finale|
|"In The Game"||2002||Writer||Season 2 premiere|
|"Someone Else's Eyes"||2002||Writer|
|"The Last Time"||2002||Director||Season 2 finale|
|"Perfect Circles"||2003||Writer||Season 3 premiere|
|"Nobody Sleeps"||2003||Writer, with
|"I'm Sorry, I'm Lost"||2003||Director||Season 3 finale|
|"Can I Come Up Now?"||2004||Writer|
|"The First Taste"||2008||Writer|
|"You'll Be the Death of Me"||2008||Director||Season 1 finale|
|"Shake and Fingerpop"||2009||Writer|
|"I Got a Right to Sing the Blues"||2010||Writer|
|"Evil is Going On"||2010||Writer||Season 3 finale|
|"If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?"||2011||Writer|
|"Save Yourself"||2012||Writer||Season 5 finale|
|The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks||2017||
|Five Women Wearing the Same Dress||1993||
|All That I Will Ever Be||2007||
- "Ball, Alan". Current Biography Yearbook 2011. Ipswich, MA: H.W. Wilson. 2011. pp. 36–40. ISBN 9780824211219.
- Waxman, Sharon. "Alan Ball's Life After Death" 'The Washington Post. May 26, 2002.
- "Ball, Alan (b. 1957)". Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Devaney, Sheila. "Alan Ball (b. 1957)". Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- "Alan Ball". Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Alan Ball at the Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
- "True Blood Minisode #2 Now Available".
- Gelman, Vlada (February 27, 2012). "True Blood Boss Alan Ball to Step Down as Showrunner After Season 5". TV Line. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Alan Ball to Point Out All Signs of Death for HBO".
- "TV: 'Six Feet Under' Creator Discovers 'All Signs of Death'".
- James Hibberd. "'All Signs of Death' DOA at HBO". The Hollywood Reporter.
- "Deadline: Virtuoso".
- "Alan Ball Interview". Spiritualteachers.org. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- Parsi, Novid (2008-09-01). "Blood on his hands - Arts + Culture - Time Out Chicago". Chicago.timeout.com. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- Piccalo, Gina (2010-07-18). "'True Blood' runs through Alan Ball". Los Angeles Times.
- Robinson, Charlotte (September 5, 2008). "Alan Ball's LGBT Vision: Audio Interview". Outtake. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
He is also openly gay & a strong voice for our LGBT community.
- Delaney, Sam (July 11, 2009). "TV preview: True Blood". The Guardian. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
Ball has been lauded as a strong and significant voice for the American gay community.
- "Out Magazine | Out 100 2008". Out.com. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2011-05-27.
- "Quentin Tarantino sues his neighbour over 'blood curdling screams' from pet parrots | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2013-12-30.
- Serafini, Matt (June 9, 2010). "Alan Ball Gets 'Set' for True Blood Season 3". dreadcentral.com.
- Alan Ball at the Internet Off-Broadway Database. Retrieved 2013-05-06.
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