Alfred Uhry

Screenwriter, Playwright, Lyricist
Alfred Uhry was a professional songwriter, lyricist and comedy writer who supported himself as a teacher at a New York private school and a college instructor. Already 40, he wrote a play based on characters from his ... Read more »
Born: 12/11/1936 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Filmography

Writer (6)

The Bridges of Madison County 1995 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rich in Love 1993 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Driving Miss Daisy 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Writer

Driving Miss Daisy 1989 (Movie)

("Driving Miss Daisy") (Play as Source Material)

Driving Miss Daisy 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Mystic Pizza 1988 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (1)

Driving Miss Daisy 1989 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)
Actor (1)

Delta Jews 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Biography

Alfred Uhry was a professional songwriter, lyricist and comedy writer who supported himself as a teacher at a New York private school and a college instructor. Already 40, he wrote a play based on characters from his family in Atlanta. The result was "Driving Miss Daisy", an off-Broadway success about a proud, obstinate Southern Jewish matron who is forced to employ an African American chauffeur and the relationship they forged that earned him a Pulitzer Prize. When Bruce Beresford made the film version in 1989, Uhry adapted his play and earned an Oscar for his efforts.

Although a relative unknown in Hollywood circles, Uhry had begun to make a name in theatre circles. The Atlanta native met and formed a partnership with composer Robert Waldman when both were undergraduates at Brown. After graduating, both found employment with famed composer-lyricist Frank Loesser writing songs for TV and commercials. During the 1960s, Uhry and Waldman wrote the theme song for the TV series "Hootenanny", comedy song material for the series "That Was the Week That Was" and had a disastrous first run on Broadway with "Here's Where I Belong" (1968, with a book by Terrence McNally), a musical based on the John Steinbeck novel "East of Eden" that opened and closed in one night. To support his family, Uhry took a job teaching English at the Calhoun School, a private school on New York's West Side.

It was not until 1975 that Uhry and Waldman had another shot at Broadway with their adaptation of an Eudora Welty novella "The Robber Bridegroom". Produced under the auspices of John Houseman's The Acting Company, the musical featured Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone and earned Uhry a Tony nomination for his libretto. The show was revived the following season with Barry Bostwick in the lead and was modestly received. Uhry went on to provide the lyrics for the unsuccessful pre-Broadway tour of "Swing" (1980) and adapted George M. Cohan's "Little Johnny Jones" for a 1982 Broadway revival. With Waldman and book writer John Weidman, he collaborated on "America's Sweetheart" (1985), a musical about Al Capone that never made it to Broadway.

As a change of pace, Uhry turned to writing plays, not even informing his family about what he was working on. By day, he earned a living by teaching lyric writing at New York University. After Playwrights Horizons produced "Driving Miss Daisy", Hollywood beckoned. He was one of four writers who scripted the charming indie "Mystic Pizza" (1988), remembered more as being Julia Roberts' first major role. After the release of "Driving Miss Daisy" there was an aborted attempt to launch the premise as a TV series. Instead, Uhry became an in-demand screenwriter. His next produced effort was "Rich in Love" (1993), the story of a teen-age girl dealing with the divorce of her parents. He also worked on the script for Bruce Beresford's "Paradise Road" (1997), about European women interned by the Japanese during WWII.

Relationships

Elizabeth MacCurrach

Daughter

Emily Rhea

Daughter

Kate Uhry

Daughter

Joanna Kellogg

Wife
met at Brown University graduated in 1959 as of 1999, was assistant professor of education at Fordham University

Ralph Uhry

Father

Aileen Uhry

Mother

Eleanor Uhry

Daughter
works as assistant to Al Franken born c. 1968 married on June 12, 1999 to Thomas Burdett

EDUCATION

Brown University

Providence , Rhode Island 1958
collaborated with Robert Waldman on two original musicals

Milestones

1998

Wrote book for the musical "Parade", based on the case of Leo Frank who was accused of murder in Atlanta in the early part of the 20th Century

1998

Penned TV version of "The Last Night of Ballyhoo"; project remains unproduced

1997

Returned to Broadway with play "The Last Night of Ballyhoo", starring Dana Ivey; received Best Play Tony Award

1989

Debut as screenwriter and associate producer, the film version of "Driving Miss Daisy", directed by Bruce Beresford

1987

Wrote first play "Driving Miss Daisy"

1977

"The Robber Bridegroom" was revived starring Barry Bostwick

1975

First professional librettist credit with "The Robber Bridegroom"; also wrote lyrics; produced by The Acting Company; production starred Kevin Kline and Patti LuPone; Uhry won a Tony nomination for his libretto

1968

First Broadway credit as lyricist with "Here's Where I Belong", based on "East of Eden"; closed after one performance

1960

Hired by prolific composer Frank Loesser for ad and TV work

Was instructor in lyric writing at New York University

Collaborated with Adam Guettel on the stage musical "Light in the Piazza"; originally intended to be workshopped under the auspices of the Lyric Opera of Chicago until Guettel withdrew as composer-in-residence; later left the project and was replaced by C

Composed musicals for the Goodspeed Opera House, in East Haddam, Connecticut

Taught theatre and English at the Calhoun School, NYC

Bonus Trivia

.

"I don't want to be known as the man who wrote a Pulitzer Prize play and then was never heard from again. I feel that 'Miss Daisy' is behind me now. I'm ready to go on."--Alfred Uhry

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