Jane Anderson

Screenwriter, Director, Stand-up comedian
An award-winning, openly lesbian writer, Jane Anderson first garnered attention for her pungent and wittily observed teleplay for the 1993 HBO original "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas ... Read more »
Born: 11/29/1953 in California, USA


Director (5)

Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio 2005 (Movie)


Normal 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)


If These Walls Could Talk 2 (TV Show)


The Baby Dance (TV Show)


When Billie Beat Bobby (TV Show)

Actor (4)

Tales From The Script 2010 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

P.O.P. 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)


The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Writer (4)

Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio 2005 (Movie)

(adaptation) (Screenplay)

How to Make An American Quilt 1995 (Movie)


It Could Happen to You 1994 (Movie)


The Hidden Room 1991 - 1994 (TV Show)

Producer (2)

Olive Kitteridge 2014 - 2015 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Raising Miranda 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer


An award-winning, openly lesbian writer, Jane Anderson first garnered attention for her pungent and wittily observed teleplay for the 1993 HBO original "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom". Her script depicted the scrambling by American TV networks for the rights to the story and the aftermath of the crime yet never lost sight of the humanity of the individuals involved. Her efforts were highly praised (Variety called it a "formidable achievement") and Anderson netted a richly deserved Emmy award.



born in Paraguay in 1994 adopted with companion Tess

Polly Anderson


Tess Ayers

together since 1982 in 1992 had a "marriage" ceremony


briefly attended college



Helmed the adaptation of "The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio" based on a heartwarming memoir about an enterprising woman who supported her family during the contest era of the 1950s and 1960s


Directed "Normal," the HBO adaptaion of her play "Looking for Normal," starring Jessica Lange and Tom Wilkinson


Wrote the script for the ABC TV-movie "Battle of the Sexes" which depicted the events leading up to the 1972 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobbie Riggs; second collaboration with Holly Hunter who portrayed King


Wrote and directed the "1961" segment of the omnibus TV-movie "If These Walls Could Talk 2", about the lesbian experience in America; received an Emmy nomination for teleplay


TV directorial debut, the Showtime adaptation of her play "The Baby Dance"; also wrote; earned Emmy nominations in directing and writing categories


"Defying Gravity" produced Off-Off-Broadway at the American Place Theater in NYC


Scripted the film adaptation of the novel "How to Make an American Quilt"


One-act "Lynnette at 3 a.m." produced on stage in L.A. under the auspices of Showtime


Feature writing debut, "It Could Happen to You", based on a real-life event wherein a cop tipped a waitress with a winning lottery ticket


Enjoyed a success with the based-on-fact teleplay for the HBO movie "The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom"; first collaboration with Holly Hunter; won Emmy Award for script


Stage play "The Baby Dance" premiered at the Balcony Theatre of the Pasadena Playhouse; staged Off-Broadway in 1991 with Stefanie Zimbalist and Linda Purl


Penned an episode of the ABC comedy series "The Wonder Years"


Scripted episodes of the NBC sitcom "The Facts of Life"


Served as producer, creator and writer of the CBS sitcom "Raising Miranda"; only seven episodes aired


Was regular on the short-lived variety program "The Billy Crystal Comedy Hour" (NBC)


Landed first professional role in Off-Broadway production of David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago"

Raised in Los Altos, California

Wrote and performed the one-woman show "How to Raise a Gifted Child"

Had first play, "Defying Gravity", a collage-like view of the Challenger disaster, produced

At age 19, moved to NYC to pursue an acting career

Bonus Trivia


"Jane's voice is a unique one and long may it flourish. The only thing I worry about is that she's already itching to be a director, and then I'll lose a collaborator." --director Michael Ritchie to The Advocate, July 12, 1994.


"I think gay women, out or not, have been brilliant comedians because their point of view is twisted. A part of us can never participate completely in the world, so we've always been watchers. In high school, when I didn't date, I was a watcher--and that's what makes you a writer." --Jane Anderson to The Advocate, July 12, 1994.


"I've never been the kind of writer to fo trolling for material from my own life. Whatever drama I've lived I have no desire to relive it on the page. I'd rather slip into other worlds. That's what makes writing an adventure for me. And I suppose that's what also keeps it safe. . . ." --From "When a Playwright Ends Up Living Out Her Own Plot" by Jane Anderson, The New York Times, August 16, 1998.