Jill Soloway

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Jill Soloway
Jill Soloway, May 2013
Soloway in May 2013
Born Jill L. Soloway
(1965-09-26) September 26, 1965 (age 51)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Residence Silver Lake, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Writer
  • director
  • producer
  • comedian
Years active 2000–present
Spouse(s) Bruce Gilbert (m. 2011; separated 2015)[1]
Children 2
Relatives Faith Soloway (sister)
Website jillsoloway.com

Jill Soloway (born September 26, 1965)[3][4][5] is an American comedian, playwright, writer and director. Soloway, who identifies as nonbinary and prefers singular they pronouns,[6][7] won the Best Director award at the Sundance Film Festival for directing and writing the film Afternoon Delight. They are also known for their work on Six Feet Under and for creating, writing, executive producing and directing the Amazon original series Transparent, for which they won two Emmys.[8]

Early life[edit]

Soloway was born in Chicago, Illinois, to public relations consultant, coach and writer, Elaine Soloway,[9] and psychiatrist[10][11] Dr. Harry J. Soloway, who grew up in London.[12] Around 2011, Dr. Soloway came out as transgender.[13][14][15]

Soloway's elder sister, Faith, is a Boston-based musician and performer with whom they sometimes collaborate.[10][16][17][18] They both attended Lane Technical College Prep High School in Chicago.[11] Jill Soloway graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Madison as a communications arts major.[13][19][20]

Soloway's mother was formerly a press aide to Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne and was a former communications director for School Superintendent Ruth Love.[21] After 30 years, Soloway's parents divorced.[22] Soloway has a stepfather named Tommy Madison.[23]

Living in the Los Angeles area amidst artists and writers Soloway, who is Jewish and deals with Jewish ideas in many of their works,[24] co-founded the "East Side Jews collective".[25][26]


While at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Soloway was a film and television student of JJ Murphy and participated in the creation of an undergraduate experimental narrative film entitled Ring of Fire as the assistant director under director Anita Katzman. After college they worked as a production assistant in commercials and music videos in Chicago, as well as at Kartemquin Films on the movie Hoop Dreams.[13]

While in Chicago, Soloway and their sister co-developed a parody of The Brady Bunch for live stage called The Real Live Brady Bunch, which began their professional theatrical writing and directing endeavors. Again with sister Faith, they sold a pilot script to HBO called Jewess Jones about a female superhero. Also at the Annoyance Theatre in Chicago, the pair created plays The Miss Vagina Pageant, and later, while in Los Angeles, Not Without My Nipples. Their short story, Courteney Cox's Asshole, caught the attention of Alan Ball and got them hired on Six Feet Under.[11]

With Maggie Rowe, Soloway co-created Hollywood Hellhouse and Sit n' Spin.[27]


Soloway began their TV writing career on shows such as The Oblongs, Nikki and The Steve Harvey Show. They followed those shows by writing for four seasons on the HBO original series Six Feet Under, ultimately serving as co-executive producer. Six Feet Under ran for five seasons from 2001 to 2005.[28]

Six Feet Under episodes[edit]

  • "Back to the Garden" (2002)
  • "I'll Take You" (2002)
  • "Making Love Work" (2003)
  • "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost" (2003)
  • "Parallel Play" (2004)
  • "The Black Forest" (2004), with Craig Wright
  • "The Rainbow of Her Reasons" (2005)

Soloway later wrote episodes of Dirty Sexy Money, Grey's Anatomy, and Tell Me You Love Me and was executive producer/showrunner for the second season of Showtime's United States of Tara, created by Diablo Cody, as well as HBO's How to Make it in America, created by Ian Edelman. Soloway created the pilot Transparent for Amazon.com, which became available for streaming and download on February 6, 2014, and was part of Amazon's second pilot season.[29][30] They were inspired by their parent who came out as transgender.[15] The show stars Gaby Hoffman, Jay Duplass, and Amy Landecker as siblings whose parent (played by Jeffrey Tambor) reveals she is going through a significant life transition.[31] The pilot for Transparent was picked up by Amazon Studios.[13][32]

As part of the making of the show, Soloway enacted a "transfirmative action program", whereby transgender applicants were hired in preference to nontransgender ones.[13] As of August 2014, over eighty transgender people have worked on the show, including two transgender consultants.[13] All the bathrooms on set are gender-neutral.[33]

Soloway wrote Gaby Hoffmann's role on Transparent especially for Hoffmann after seeing her performance on Louie.[34] Transparent premiered all ten episodes simultaneously in late September 2014.[35]

In August 2016, Amazon premiered a Soloway-directed pilot of I Love Dick, based on the novel by the same name by Chris Kraus.[36] It was later picked up for a full season,[37] which premiered on May 12, 2017.[38]


Soloway has written and directed two films that have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival: Una Hora Por Favora (2012)[39] and Afternoon Delight (2013),[8] for which they won the Directing Award.[40]

Afternoon Delight played at national and international film festivals and was nominated for multiple awards, including a Gotham Award for Breakthrough Performance for Kathryn Hahn, and a Spirit Award for First Feature.[41]


They wrote the novella Jodi K., which was published in the collection Three Kinds of Asking For It: Erotic Novellas, edited by Susie Bright. Soloway's memoir, Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants: Based on a True Story, was released in hardcover in 2005, and then in paperback in 2006.[citation needed]


Soloway has said that they feel that they have always been writing similar themes, what they call "The Heroine's Journey," which is about "repairing the divided feminine: the wife and the other woman confronting each other--mom, stripper. That I think women's journeys are really about repairing these sort of divided parts of ourselves. And this divide in our culture that I think is responsible for so much that is a problem in our culture."[42]


At the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Soloway received the Directing Award (United States, Drama) for their first film, the 2013 comedy-drama Afternoon Delight.[8][43] They have three Emmy nominations.[8] Soloway is also a member of the board of the San Francisco Film Society.[43]

In 2015, Soloway's show Transparent won a Golden Globe for Best Series - Musical or Comedy.[44] Later that same year, Soloway won a DGA Award and a Primetime Emmy Award for their work directing episode 108 of the show.[45][46] Also in 2015, they were named as one of The Forward 50.[47] In 2016, they won another Emmy for directing episode 2.09 ("Grey Green Brown & Copper") of Transparent.[48] Also in 2016, they were a finalist for The Advocate's Person of the Year.[49]

Personal life[edit]

In 2011, Soloway married music supervisor Bruce Gilbert, with whom Soloway had been in a relationship since 2008. They have a son named Felix Soloway Gilbert. Their older son, Isaac, is from a prior relationship with artist John Strozier, also known as Johnny Base.[1][50] In 2015, Soloway announced being in the process of separating from Gilbert, and that Soloway was in a relationship with poet Eileen Myles, whom Soloway met through Transparent;[1][1][51] their romantic relationship has since ended,[6] and they held an event at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, in which they "processed [their] relationship onstage."[6]

Soloway lives in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.[8][52]

Soloway identifies as nonbinary and gender non-conforming, and uses gender-neutral singular they pronouns.[6][7]


  • Soloway is a strong supporter of feminism.[53]
  • Co-founded the website Wifey.tv.[54]
  • Co-founded the East Side Jews collective,[25] which is funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.[26]
  • They co-wrote The Thanksgiving Paris Manifesto with Eileen Myles in 2016.[55]

Works or publications[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Levy, Ariel. "Dolls and Feelings". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  2. ^ Haber, Gordon (January 1, 2012). "Her Beachfront Home in Heaven: Jill Soloway Thrives by Balancing Success and Faith". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Jill L Soloway - United States Public Records, 1970-2009". FamilySearch. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  4. ^ Corcoran, Monica (September 4, 2005). "Jill Soloway: To Tell the Truth". The New York Times. Ms. Soloway, 39 
  5. ^ Caro, Mark (March 21, 2014). "Jill Soloway hits it big with Amazon's 'Transparent'". Chicago Tribune. Jill, 48 
  6. ^ a b c d "The Love Story of Jill Soloway and Eileen Myles". 2016-10-27. Retrieved 2017-03-08. 
  7. ^ a b Freeman, Hadley (May 21, 2017). "Transparent’s Jill Soloway: ‘The words male and female describe who we used to be’". The Guardian. Retrieved May 25, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Ryzik, Melena (August 22, 2013). "A Female Gaze on Ladies Who Lust: ‘Afternoon Delight’ Is Jill Soloway's Sexually Frank Debut". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  9. ^ Schmich, Mary (October 13, 2010). "Risky to reveal your age? Businesswoman isn't afraid to reveal she's 72". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  10. ^ a b Soloway, Faith; Soloway, Jill (October 25, 2010). "The Funny Women Interview: The Soloway Sisters". The Rumpus. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Miller, Danny (September 15, 2005). "Confessions of a Masturgoogler: The Real Live Brady Bunch got her started, Six Feet Under made her legit, but Jill Soloway won't be happy until she's a household name.". Chicago Reader. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  12. ^ Elaine, Soloway (February 14, 2012). "Matching Bands". Soloway Stories. Retrieved September 4, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (August 29, 2014). "Can Jill Soloway Do Justice to the Trans Movement?". The New York Times. NY Times Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  14. ^ Ehrhardt, Michelle (August 29, 2014). "5 Things We Learned About Jill Soloway’s Transparent". Out Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Wilson, Stacey (December 17, 2014). "'Transparent' Boss Reveals the Moment She Decided to Make a Show About a Transgender Parent". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 15, 2015. 
  16. ^ Brune, Adrian Margaret (September 16, 2011). "A Tale of Two Sisters: Jill and Faith Soloway, Collaborators, Partners, Emmy Writers". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Liz and Rebecca Feldman face off against Jill and Faith Soloway in a Sister Spelling Bee". After Ellen. June 19, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2014. 
  18. ^ King, Loren (September 14, 2013). "Meet the Soloway sisters". Boston Globe. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  19. ^ Trevis, Michael (November 21, 2013). "Filmmaker Jill Soloway Visits Her Alma Mater". Department of Communication Arts. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  20. ^ Shapiro, Gregg (September 6, 2013). "UW-Madison alumna Jill Soloway says her Sundance Award-winning debut film is a tribute to sisterhood". Wisconsin Gazette. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Elaine & Her Team". Elaine Soloway Consulting. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  22. ^ Elaine, Soloway (April 23, 2009). "Sweet Tooth". Soloway Stories. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Elaine M Soloway: Nevada, Marriage Index, 1956-2005". Family Search. January 13, 1998. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  24. ^ Klein, Amy (September 2016). "Jill Soloway on Jews and ‘Transparent’". Hadassah Magazine. Hadassah, The Women's Zionist Organization of America, Inc. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  25. ^ a b Rosenblatt, Gary (March 19, 2013). "L.A. As A Model For The Jewish Future - Jewish Funders Network conference highlights efforts to reinvent Jewish life by challenging the status quo". The Jewish Week. 
  26. ^ a b Karpel, Ari (September 4, 2013). "Is This ‘the Face of the Future of Judaism’ for a New Generation in Los Angeles? TV and film director Jill Soloway has been running a de facto Jewish community. The question is whether it can outlast her success.". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  27. ^ Lustick, Adam (June 17, 2011). "The Big Jewcy: Jill Soloway – Writer/Producer, Making Things Happen On LA's East Side". Jewcy. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Jill Soloway answers the most frequently asked questions about TV". Hollywood Journal. September 9, 2013. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  29. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (February 15, 2014). "Interview: 'Transparent' creator Jill Soloway discusses her Amazon pilot". HitFix. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  30. ^ Lyons, Margaret (February 13, 2014). "Talking to Jill Soloway About Her Wonderful Amazon Pilot, Transparent". Vulture. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  31. ^ Goodman, Tim (February 18, 2014). "Amazon's New Crop of Pilots, Including Chris Carter's 'The After': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  32. ^ Willmore, Alison (February 7, 2014). "Why 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway Feels the Amazon Pilot Process is 'Revolutionary'". Indiewire. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  33. ^ Martin, Denise (September 2, 2014). "Gaby Hoffmann on Girls, Growing Up in ’80s New York, and Her Amazon Show Transparent". Vulture. New York Magazine. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  34. ^ Katz, Jessie (March 11, 2014). "Pret-a Reporter: Dynamic Duos: Jill Soloway and Gaby Hoffmann are Ready to Inhabit Your Brain". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  35. ^ Prudom, Laura (July 12, 2014). "Amazon's 'Transparent' Season 1 to Debut Late September". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  36. ^ Birnbaum, Elizabeth Wagmeister,Debra (2016-09-03). "‘I Love Dick’ Nearing Series Greenlight, Says Jill Soloway". Variety. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  37. ^ Petski, Denise (September 27, 2016). "‘I Love Dick’, ‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ & ‘The Tick’ Picked Up To Series By Amazon". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  38. ^ Petski, Denise (January 20, 2017). "Jill Soloway’s ‘I Love Dick’ Gets Amazon Premiere Date Ahead Of Sundance Debut". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  39. ^ Soloway, Jill (January 11, 2012). "The Sundance Diaries: Why I Didn't Invite My Mother to Sundance". Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  40. ^ Soffer, Rebecca (August 19, 2013). "Strippers, Jewish Guilt, and Loneliness Collide in Jill Soloway's New Feature Film: The award-winning director talks about why 'Afternoon Delight' begins with a lap dance and ends with Shabbat" (podcast). Tablet Magazine. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  41. ^ Bronner, Sasha (August 29, 2013). "Jill Soloway, 'Afternoon Delight' Filmmaker: I Should Have Written 'Girls' 10 Years Ago". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  42. ^ Smith, Krista (January 22, 2013). "Josh Radnor and Jill Soloway on Afternoon Delight" (Video interview). Vanity Fair. Park City, Utah. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  43. ^ a b Soloway, Jill (August 16, 2013). "17 Reasons Why Chicks Actually Make Better Directors". Indiewire. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Golden Globe Winners 2015". Variety. January 11, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  45. ^ "DGA Awards Winners 2015". Deadline.com. February 7, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 
  46. ^ "Emmy Awards 2015: The complete winners list". CNN. September 21, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2015. 
  47. ^ November 11, 2015 (November 7, 2015). "Forward 50 2015". Forward.com. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  48. ^ "Complete Listing of 68th Emmy Awards Winners" (PDF). Primetime Emmys. September 20, 2016. Retrieved September 20, 2016. 
  49. ^ By Advocate.com Editors (2016-11-11). "Person of the Year: The Finalists". Advocate.com. Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  50. ^ Levy, Ariel (December 8, 2011). "Dolls and Feelings Jill Soloway’s post-patriarchal television". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 14, 2015. 
  51. ^ Ennis, Dawn (December 8, 2015). "Transparent Creator Jill Soloway Comes Out". The Advocate. Retrieved December 11, 2015. 
  52. ^ Looseleaf, Victoria (October 13, 2005). "My Favorite Weekend: Jill Soloway - A few feet away from 'Six Feet Under' days". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  53. ^ "Jill Soloway - A Day In the Life". National Organization for Women (NOW). August 15, 2007. 
  54. ^ Bendix, Trish (February 18, 2014). "Jill Soloway on queering television and the web with "Transparent"". After Ellen. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  55. ^ "Eileen Myles and Jill Soloway's Plan to Topple the Patriarchy". 2016-01-20. Retrieved 2017-03-08. 

External links[edit]