John Patrick Shanley
In his early years as an off-Broadway playwright, John Patrick Shanley was celebrated for his intense dialogue and for his dysfunctional young New Yorkers in search of identity and love. His big-screen, romantic comedy version of his storytelling was the hit movie "Moonstruck" (1987), which earned the Irish-American an Academy Award for his script. He stayed in Hollywood for a number of years, where he wrote and directed the critically lambasted "Joe vs. the Volcano" (1990) and was subsequently pegged as an adventure writer, hired to do script adaptations like "Congo" (1993) and "Alive" (1995). A rare foray into television screenwriting resulted in an Emmy nomination for the fact-based Gulf War drama "Live from Baghdad" (HBO, 2002), but Shanley generally remained a prolific and versatile playwright on the New York stage. His off-Broadway fare was hit-or-miss with critics, with successes until 2004 when "Doubt" won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Pulitzer Prize Award for Drama. In 2008, Shanley's suspenseful drama about sexual abuse allegations at a Catholic school was adapted and directed by him, making him one of the rare New York theater talents to successfully bring his vision to the screen without sacrificing artistic integrity.