James S. Abrahams|
May 10, 1944
Shorewood, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter|
James S. Abrahams (born May 10, 1944) is an American movie director and writer.
Life and career
Abrahams was born to a Jewish family in Shorewood, Wisconsin, the son of Louise M. (née Ogens), an educational researcher, and Norman S. Abrahams, a lawyer. His family was Jewish; he attended Shorewood High School.
He may be best known for the spoof movies that he co-wrote and produced with brothers Jerry Zucker and David Zucker, such as Airplane! (for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay) and The Naked Gun series. The team of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (also referred to as "ZAZ") really began when the three men grew up together in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He directed movies on his own, such as Big Business, and further honed his skills in parody with Hot Shots! and its 1993 sequel, Hot Shots! Part Deux.
Abrahams and his wife, Nancy (née Cocuzzo) co-founded The Charlie Foundation To Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy.
- The Kentucky Fried Movie (with David Zucker and Jerry Zucker) (1977)
- Airplane! (1980; co-director/co-writer, with David Zucker and Jerry Zucker)
- Police Squad! (1982) (TV; co-creator, with David Zucker and Jerry Zucker)
- Top Secret! (1984; co-director/co-writer, with David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Martyn Burke)
- Ruthless People (1986; co-director with David Zucker and Jerry Zucker)
- The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (with David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Pat Proft) (1988)
- Big Business (1988; director only)
- Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (1990; director only)
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (with David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Pat Proft) (1991)
- Hot Shots! (1991; director/co-writer, with Pat Proft)
- Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993; director/co-writer, with Pat Proft)
- The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994; with David Zucker, Jerry Zucker and Pat Proft)
- …First Do No Harm (1997; TV; director only)
- Jane Austen's Mafia! (1998; director/co-writer, with Greg Norberg and Michael McManus)
- Scary Movie 4 (2006; co-writer with Pat Proft and Craig Mazin)
- The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) as Technician #1 (segment "Eyewitness News") / Announcer (segment "Courtroom")
- Airplane! (1980) as Religious Zealot #6
- Top Secret! (1984) as German Soldier in Prop Room (uncredited)
- Coming to America (1988) as Face on Cutting Room Floor
- Oscar (1991) as Postman (uncredited)
- Desser, David; Friedman, Lester D. American Jewish Filmmakers. p. 166. ISBN 9780252071539.
- Jan Uebelherr (December 28, 2012). "Louise Abrahams Yaffe: 'Airplane' co-creator's mother set her own course: Yaffe was advocate for the aging, occasional actress". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved November 8, 2013.