Dan Gordon (screenwriter)

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Dan Gordon
Born United States
Occupation Screenwriter, television writer, soldier

Dan Gordon is an Israeli-American writer, playwright,[1] and reserve duty captain in the Israel Defense Forces.

As a screenwriter, he has worked on films including Wyatt Earp, Passenger 57, Murder in the First, The Hurricane, and television series such as Highway to Heaven, Highlander, and Soldier of Fortune, Inc. He has also written stage adaptations of Terms of Endearment and Rain Man,[2][3] in addition to several novels based on his own experience fighting in the Gaza War.[4]


Early life[edit]

Dan Gordon grew up in Southern California and in Ginnegar, a kibbutz in the Valley of Jezreel in Israel.[5] He graduated from UCLA as a film and television major. A dual Israeli-American citizen, Gordon served in the Israeli Army as a young man.[5]

Acting career[edit]

Gordon has written screenplays including Passenger 57 (1992), Wyatt Earp (1994), Murder in the First (1995), The Assignment (1997) and The Hurricane (1999).[5]

His play, Irena's Vow, premiered at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, New York, in September 2008. Starring Tovah Feldshuh, it is the true story of Irena Gut, who hid twelve Jews in a cellar during World War II.[6] The play is scheduled to open on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre in previews starting March 10, 2009, officially March 29, 2009, with the same cast from off-Broadway.[7] His stage adaptation of Barry Morrow's Rain Man premiered at the Apollo Theatre in London's West End in 2009 and was subsequently performed in places like Prague (Czech Republic), Stuttgart (Germany), Brussels (Belgium) and Utrecht (The Netherlands). Gordon is also a co-founder of the Zaki Gordon Institute (ZGI), a film school in Sedona, Arizona. The institute is named for his eldest son, Zaki Gordon, who died in a traffic accident in 1998 at the age of 22 years. Gordon taught part-time at the institute. He also teaches at Columbia University School of the Arts, USC School of Cinematic Arts and UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television,[8] to which he donates an annual $5,000 prize to screenwriting students in honor of his son.[9]

In 2012, he left the Zaki Gordon Institute after founding the Zaki Gordon Center for Cinematic Arts at Liberty University in 2011.[10] After Gordon left, The Zaki Gordon Institute changed its name to the Sedona Film School.[11] Gordon was also a close friend of Tim Buckley, collaborating with him on an unfilmed movie script called "Fully Airconditioned Inside."[12] He also played the role of a homeless man in the independent film Waiting for Mo (1996), which he produced with his son, Zaki, who wrote and directed the film.

He has been a member of the Directors Guild of America since 1985.

Military career[edit]

He served as an escort officer in the Military Spokesperson’s Unit during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.[13]

He is a captain in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves.[5]

Personal Life[edit]

Gordon had two sons, Zaki and Yoni. The former died in a traffic accident in 1998 at the age of 22. Gordon is a Christian, and has acted as a keynote speaker at religious conferences.[14]





  • Wyatt Earp (1994)
  • Murder in the First (1994)
  • The Assignment (1997)
  • Davin (with Zaki Gordon) (1997)
  • Day of the Dead: Book One - Gaza (2015)
  • Day of the Dead: Book Two - America (2016)



  1. ^ "Theatre Review (London): Rain Man (Adapted for the Stage by Dan Gordon)". Blogcritics. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  2. ^ "Theatre Review (London): Rain Man (Adapted for the Stage by Dan Gordon)". Blogcritics. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  3. ^ "Dan Gordon". Simon & Schuster. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  4. ^ "A Hollywood Screenwriter Experiences the Real Gaza War". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 
  5. ^ a b c d 'Gaza Wars Veteran, 17-Old Documentarian Among Guests For Temple of the Arts Yom Kippur Services', The Beverly Hills Courier, October 03, 2014, Vol. XXXXVIIII, No. 39, p. 13
  6. ^ Hampton, Willborn. Review: Hiding Innocents and Keeping Evil at Bay, The New York Times, September 26, 2008.
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew. Feldshuh to Return to Broadway in March in Irena's Vow, playbill.com, December 22, 2008.
  8. ^ "Dan Gordon". Biography on the Faculty page of the ZGI website. Retrieved 2006-10-23. 
  9. ^ "Father honors son's memory with screenwriting award". Article by Jun Okada in the Daily Bruin. Archived from the original on 2005-01-01. Retrieved 2006-10-23. 
  10. ^ Bible, Mitzi. "Liberty to add Zaki Gordon Center for the Cinematic Arts". Liberty University News Service. Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Zaki Gordon Becomes Sedona Film School". Retrieved 22 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Mary Guibert's Room 109 Chat Session". timbuckleyandfriends. 1999-05-05. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  13. ^ "Soldiers, Dogs and Mosques". CaliforniaRepublic.org blog. 2006-09-01. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2006-10-23. 
  14. ^ "Dan Gordon - Christian Speaker - Israeli Defense Force Captain, Sniper and Screenwriter". outreach.com. Retrieved 2017-03-27. 

External links[edit]