Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal

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Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal
Born Naomi Achs
(1946-03-04) March 4, 1946 (age 71)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Barnard College (BA)
Columbia University (MA)
Occupation Screenwriter, director
Spouse(s) Eric Foner
(m. 1965; div. 1977)

Stephen Gyllenhaal
(m. 1977; div. 2009)
Children Maggie Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal

Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (née Achs; born March 4, 1946) is an American screenwriter and director.

Early life and education[edit]

Gyllenhaal was born in New York City, the daughter of doctors Ruth (born Silbowitz) (1920-1968) and Samuel Achs (1919-2014), and is Jewish.[1] Her aunt was Freda (Silbowitz) Hertz (1915–2013), a lawyer.[2][3][4] She was raised in a family of "high-achieving New York Jews".[5] Her grandparents immigrated from Eastern Europe (Russia and Poland).[6]

She attended Barnard College in New York City, graduating with a BA degree in English. She later earned an MA degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University.


She has written the screenplays for several feature films, including Running on Empty (for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and won a Golden Globe Award for the same category), Losing Isaiah, and most recently Bee Season. She was the Naomi referenced in the line "...what about Naomi?" at the end of each Love of Chair segment of The Electric Company, where she was an associate producer for two seasons.

In 2013, she made her directorial debut with Very Good Girls, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival before attaining online and theatrical distribution in the U.S. with Tribeca Film. She is currently collaborating on a script for an American-Chinese co-production titled Moon Flower and the Flying Tigers.

Personal life[edit]

Naomi Gyllenhaal's first husband was Eric Foner, a historian and Columbia University professor, whom she married in 1965 and divorced in 1977.[7] Her second husband was film director Stephen Gyllenhaal, whom she married in 1977 and from whom she divorced in 2009.[8] They have collaborated professionally and have two children together, actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal.


External links[edit]