Robert Harling

Screenwriter, Director, Playwright
A Southerner, Harling moved to New York to pursue a theatrical career after first obtaining a law degree. He landed work in regional theater and as a voice-over artist for radio and TV commercials before turning to ... Read more »
Born: 11/30/1950 in Dothan, Alabama, USA

Filmography

Writer (9)

Steel Magnolias 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Source Material

Laws of Attraction 2004 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Evening Star 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The First Wives Club 1996 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Soapdish 1991 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Soapdish 1991 (Movie)

(From Story)

Steel Magnolias 1989 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Steel Magnolias 1989 (Movie)

("Steel Magnolias") (Play as Source Material)

Telenovela (TV Show)

Creator
Producer (3)

GCB 2012 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

A Smile Like Yours 1997 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Steel Magnolias 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Co-Producer
Actor (1)

Steel Magnolias 1989 (Movie)

Minister (Actor)
Director (1)

The Evening Star 1996 (Movie)

(Director)

Biography

A Southerner, Harling moved to New York to pursue a theatrical career after first obtaining a law degree. He landed work in regional theater and as a voice-over artist for radio and TV commercials before turning to writing. When his sister Susan died of complications from diabetes, he was inspired to write his first play, "Steel Magnolias." The effort impressed Kyle Renick at the off-off-Broadway WPA Theater enough to produce it where it received strong notices and transferred to a healthy off-Broadway run. Producer Ray Stark purchased the screen rights and Harling set about adapting the piece. The finished film directed by Herbert Ross (1989) was notable for its cast: Oscar-winners Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis, and, in the role inspired by the author's sister, Julia Roberts who gave a warm and winning performance. Harling himself played a small role in the film as the minister who presides at Roberts' wedding. Harling wrote the hilarious spoof "Soapdish" (1991) which reteamed him with Sally Field, as a soap opera diva whose off-screen life was as outrageous as her onscreen one. He also adapted "The First Wives Club" (1996) and made his directorial debut later that same year with "The Evening Star," based on Larry McMurtry's novel.

Relationships

Susan Harling

Sister
died of complications from diabetes inspiration for character of Shelby in his play "Steel Magnolias"

EDUCATION

Tulane University

New Orleans , Louisiana

Northwestern State University of Louisiana

Natchitoches , Louisiana

Milestones

2012

Made TV series debut as creator and executive producer of "GCB" (ABC)

2004

Wrote screenplay of romantic comedy "Laws of Attraction," starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore

1996

Made feature directorial debut with "The Evening Star," sequel to 1983 hit "Terms of Endearment"; also adapted screenplay from Larry McMurtry's novel

1996

Penned screenplay of "The First Wives Club," starring Goldie Hawn, Bette Midler, and Diane Keaton, and based on novel by Olivia Goldsmith

1991

Wrote screenplay of ensemble comedy "Soapdish"

1989

Feature debut as screenwriter, "Steel Magnolias"; character of Shelby (Julia Roberts) was based on his sister

1987

Ray Stark purchased screen rights to "Steel Magnolias"

1986

Play produced at WPA Theater off-off-Broadway; moved to Lucille Lortel Theater off-Broadway

1985

After death of his sister Susan of complications from diabetes, wrote play "Steel Magnolias"

Family moved to Natchitoches, LA when he was 12

Worked his way through law school at Tulane University by singing with a big band, Jubiliation, and acting in local theater

Moved to Natchitoches, LA with family in his teens

SIMILAR ARTICLES