Frank Pierson

Screenwriter, Director, Producer
An enormously gifted filmmaker, Frank Pierson wore many hats throughout his illustrious career, writing, directing and producing some of Hollywood's most iconic films and TV shows. After getting his start on the small ... Read more »
Born: 05/11/1925 in Chappaqua, New York, USA

Filmography

Director (15)

The L Word 2006 (Tv Show)

Director

Lakota Woman: Seige at Wounded Knee 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Director

Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1969 - 1973, 1985 - 1987 (Tv Show)

Director

King of the Gypsies 1978 (Movie)

(Director)

A Star Is Born 1976 (Movie)

(Director)

The Doctors 1969 - 1973 (Tv Show)

Director

The Looking Glass War 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Citizen Cohn (TV Show)

Director

Conspiracy (TV Show)

Director

Dirty Pictures (TV Show)

Director

Paradise (TV Show)

Director

Soldier's Girl (TV Show)

Director

The Neon Ceiling (TV Show)

Director

Truman (TV Show)

Director
Writer (12)

Presumed Innocent 1990 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

In Country 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Haywire 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Screenplay

King of the Gypsies 1978 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Star Is Born 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Dog Day Afternoon 1975 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Amanda Fallon 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Writer

The Anderson Tapes 1970 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

The Looking Glass War 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Cool Hand Luke 1967 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Happening 1966 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Cat Ballou 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)
Producer (4)

Mad Men 1969 - 1973, 1985 - 1987, 2009, 2011 - 2012 (Tv Show)

Consulting Producer

The Good Wife 2010 (Tv Show)

Consulting Producer

Nichols 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Producer

Have Gun -- Will Travel (TV Show)

Producer
Actor (2)

Dreamers 2013 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Based on a True Story 2004 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Executive (1)

The 77th Annual Academy Awards 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Executive

Biography

An enormously gifted filmmaker, Frank Pierson wore many hats throughout his illustrious career, writing, directing and producing some of Hollywood's most iconic films and TV shows. After getting his start on the small screen with "Have Gun Will Travel" (CBS, 1957-1963) and "Naked City" (ABC, 1958-1963), Pierson segued to motion pictures with the acclaimed comic Western "Cat Ballou" (1965) and followed with the classic prison drama "Cool Hand Luke" (1967). After creating his own series, "Nichols" (NBC, 1971-72), Pierson joined forces with director Sidney Lumet for the high-paced heist thriller "The Anderson Tapes" (1971) and the unforgettable crime thriller "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), which won him the Oscar for Best Screenplay. He went on to write and direct the Oscar-winning remake of "A Star Is Born" (1976), but made several enemies - and won a few friends - for writing a revealing magazine piece on his behind-the-scenes clashes with star Barbra Streisand. Meanwhile, after scripting the films "In Country" (1989) and "Presumed Innocent" (1990), Pierson focused his directing efforts toward the small screen with several classy, awards-magnet biopics like "Conspiracy" (HBO, 1992), "Citizen Cohn" (HBO, 1992) and "Truman" (HBO, 1995), and later wrote on high-profile series like "The Good Wife" (CBS, 2009- ) and "Mad Men" (AMC, 2007- ). A former president of the Writers Guild of America, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Pierson was a vital voice in the history of filmed entertainment who left behind a glowing and important legacy.

Relationships

Harold C Pierson

Father

Louise Pierson

Mother

Eve Pierson

Daughter

Michael Pierson

Son

Helene Szamet

Wife
married on June 24, 1990

EDUCATION

Harvard University

Cambridge , Massachusetts 1950

Milestones

2010

Returned to TV series writing with an episode of "The Good Wife" (CBS)

2009

Was consulting producer on AMC's "Mad Men"; also wrote the "Signal 30" episode in 2012

2004

Directed David Strathairn and Barbara Hershey in the TV drama "Paradise"

2003

Directed the acclaimed Showtime movie "Soldier's Girl," based on a true story; film starred Troy Garity and Lee Pace

2001

Garnered Emmy nomination for direction of "Conspiracy" (HBO), a docudrama about the Wanasee Conference wherein the Nazis outlined The Final Solution

2001

Announced as writer and director of "The Last of the Savages"; in development as of summer 2001

2001

Elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; held position for the maximum four consecutive terms

2000

Reteamed with James Woods in the docudrama "Dirty Pictures" (Showtime), about the famed incident wherein the director of the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center booked an exhibition of controversial photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe and was then indicted

1995

Helmed the highly-praised HBO biographical drama "Truman," starring Gary Sinise

1994

Directed the TNT original "Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee"

1993

Returned as WGA president

1992

Helmed the acclaimed HBO biopic "Citizen Cohn," starring James Woods; received Emmy nomination

1990

Collaborated with director Alan J. Pakula on the script for "Presumed Innocent," the feature based on Scott Turow's bestselling novel

1990

Directed the HBO movie "Somebody Has to Shoot the Picture"

1989

Returned to features as collaborator on the screenplay for the Vietnam-era drama "In Country"

1981

Served as president of the Writers Guild of America

1980

Wrote the teleplay for the above average CBS TV biopic "Haywire," based on the memoirs of Brooke Hayward, the daughter of agent Leland Hayward and actress Margaret Sullavan

1978

Penned screenply adaptation and directed "King of the Gypsies"

1976

Collaborated on the screenplay and directed the Barbra Streisand vehicle "A Star Is Born"

1975

Won Oscar for solo screenwriting effort "Dog Day Afternoon"

1970

Directed the award-winning NBC TV-movie "Neon Ceiling"

1969

Directed first feature "The Looking Glass War"; also wrote screenplay

1967

Contributed to the script for "Cool Hand Luke"; shared Academy Award nomination

1965

Co-wrote first produced screenplay "Cat Ballou"; received first Academy Award nomination

1962

Entered show business as story editor of TV series "Have Gun Will Travel" (CBS); later served as producer and director for the show

1942

Served with U.S. Army

Worked as a correspondent for Time and Life magazines

Bonus Trivia

.

Pierson taught at the University of Arizona, the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto, and the AFI. He was also an adjunct professor of screenwriting at USC.

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