Linda Bloodworth-Thomason

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Linda Joyce Bloodworth-Thomason (born April 15, 1947) is an American writer and television producer. She is best known for creating, writing, and producing several television series, most successfully with the series Designing Women. She and her husband, Harry Thomason, are also notable for their friendship with former President Bill Clinton and his family.

Early life[edit]

Linda Bloodworth was born in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, the daughter of Ralph and Claudia Bloodworth.[1]

She grew up in Missouri and graduated from Poplar Bluff High School. Linda and friends were the founders of the Alpha Pi Phi sorority. She went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.[citation needed] In the early 1970s she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she taught English at Jordan High School, in the south Los Angeles suburb of Watts.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After her teaching stint concluded, Bloodworth went on to work for The Wall Street Journal in advertising. She then became a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Journal. During this period, she also began working as a freelance writer in television.

Her early script-writing work included five episodes of M*A*S*H — of which one episode, "Hot Lips and Empty Arms," written with Mary Kay Place, was nominated for an Emmy Award — as well as scripts for Rhoda, the television version of Paper Moon, and the original pilot for One Day at a Time. She also wrote scripts for the short-lived sitcoms Paul Sand in Friends and Lovers and Filthy Rich.

Creating and producing[edit]

Bloodworth met Harry Thomason in 1980 and married him in July, 1983. That same year, the pair created Mozark Productions, named for their respective home states: Missouri, or "MO," and Arkansas, with an allusion to the Ozarks region overlapping both states.

The company produced several situation comedies, most notably the show Designing Women, which reunited Bloodworth-Thomason with Filthy Rich cast members Dixie Carter and Delta Burke. The company also created and produced Evening Shade, Hearts Afire, Women of the House (a short-lived Designing Women spin-off starring Burke), and Emeril (a short-lived sitcom featuring chef Emeril Lagasse). Unfortunately, Emeril was to premiere on September 11, 2001 but was preempted by coverage of the aftermath of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks. [2]

Friendship with the Clintons[edit]

The Thomasons' friendship with the Clintons dates to Bill Clinton's days as governor of Arkansas. The couple created several short-subject political promotional films for Clinton and for other candidates, such as General Wesley Clark's presidential bid and Hillary Clinton's run for the United States Senate.

Other accomplishments[edit]

In 1994, she was awarded the Women in Film Lucy Award in recognition of her excellence and innovation in her creative works that have enhanced the perception of women through the medium of television.[3]

Bloodworth-Thomason went on to write her first novel, Liberating Paris, which was released in 2004. Variety reported in March 2005 that the Thomasons were working on a screen adaptation of the novel, with actors Michelle Pfeiffer, Billy Bob Thornton, and Dwight Yoakam committed to the film despite there being no completed script. It was one of two film projects that the Thomasons were to produce with Jeff Sagansky, the other being a Bloodworth-Thomason script called Southern Comfort and based on a 2001 documentary by filmmaker Kate Davis titled Southern Comfort.

A new series, 12 Miles of Bad Road, was slated to debut on HBO. The show starred Gary Cole and Lily Tomlin.[4]

While many of Bloodworth-Thomason's projects focus on exploring and exposing stereotypes of Southerners, her early concept for the new show was expressed as "It looks at the life of a Chevy dealership-owning hick family the way that The Sopranos looks at the mob".[5] After six episodes of a proposed ten-episode run were shot, the show was dumped by HBO before being broadcast and is currently in limbo.[6] Her documentary Bridegroom premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2013 and has won several awards.[citation needed]

In 2015, Bloodworth-Thomason wrote a revised book to a reworked musical version of First Wives Club. [7]

Bloodworth-Thomason founded The Claudia Foundation in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, which supports young people, particularly young women, with scholarships and with opportunities for community services and positions in the arts industry.[8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Ralph Bloodworth obituary". tributes.com. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Sitcom Behind the Sitcom: Television: The countdown to an 'Evening Shade' rehearsal can be comedic. Just ask writer and producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-12. 
  3. ^ WIF Projects. "WIF". wif.org. Archived from the original on June 30, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ Carter, Bill, "After 'Sopranos,' a Need for a Hit" (page 2), The New York Times, March 22, 2007.
  5. ^ MovieWeb recap of Variety article, March 10, 2005. Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Was HBO right to cancel 12 Miles of Bad Road?". Slate Magazine. Retrieved May 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ Jones, Chris. "Not so sweet revenge in pre-Broadway First Wives Club", Chicago Tribune, March 12, 2015.
  8. ^ "The Claudia Foundation". Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 

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