Tom Fontana

Screenwriter, Playwright, Producer
While Tom Fontana was playwright-in-residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jake and Gwyneth Paltrow saw his play "The Spectre Bridegroom" and insisted their father, producer Bruce Paltrow, give Fontana a job on ... Read more »
Born: 09/12/1951

Filmography

Producer (28)

Crossbones 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Copper 2011 - 2013 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

You Don't Know Jack 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Philanthropist 2008 - 2009 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

3 Lbs. 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Bedford Diaries 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Strip Search 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Jury 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Homicide: Life on the Street 1992 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

Oz 1992 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

American Tragedy 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Beat 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Press Secretary 2000 (Movie)

(Executive Producer)

Under Fire 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Philly Heat 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Nick & Hillary 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Tattinger's 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

St. Elsewhere 1982 - 1988 (TV Show)

Producer

Borgia (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Home Fires (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Homicide: The Movie (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Judas (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Killing Fields (TV Show)

Executive Producer

New Year (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Shot In The Heart (TV Show)

Executive Producer

The Prosecutors (TV Show)

Executive Producer
Actor (4)

Who is Norman Lloyd? 2007 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Les Miserable 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor
Writer (1)

The Fourth Wise Man (TV Show)

Writer

Biography

While Tom Fontana was playwright-in-residence at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jake and Gwyneth Paltrow saw his play "The Spectre Bridegroom" and insisted their father, producer Bruce Paltrow, give Fontana a job on his new show "St. Elsewhere" (NBC, 1982-88), the perfect prescription for jumping a struggling playwright's yearly income from $5000 to $90,000. As one of the three top writer-producers for that series, he made a name and the beginning of a sizable fortune pioneering the story structure that weaves several narrative threads together in one hour, a formula that still successfully powers shows like "ER". Three Emmy Awards later (all for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series), he is one of the most powerful television producers in the world. And yet . . . Fontana considers himself a writer, period. He produces so that he can have control over what happens to his words, and he does it well.

Relationships

Charles Fontana

Father

Marie Fontana

Mother
Died December 25, 2007 in Buffalo, NY

Sagan Lewis

Wife
Married December 18, 1982 divorced

Deborah Oppenheimer

Companion
Worked on "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC) and produced the Oscar-winning documentary "Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories from the Kindertransport" (2000)

EDUCATION

State University of New York, Buffalo

Buffalo , New York 1973

Canisius High School

Buffalo , New York 1969
School was run by Jesuits

State University of New York, Buffalo

Buffalo , New York 1973

Milestones

2003

With Levinson, served as executive producer of the HBO series "Baseball Wives"

2002

Wrote the teleplay and executive produced the religious-themed TV-movie "Judas and Jesus" (ABC)

2000

Executive produced the CBS miniseries "An American Tragedy" which focused on the murder trial of O.J. Simpson

1999

Billed as 'creative concultant' on the Showtime series "The Hoop Life"

1997

Co-creator (with Barry Levinson) and executive producer of HBO's "Oz", a gritty dramatic series set in an urban prison

1996

Executive produced and co-wrote the NBC movie "The Prosecutors" (a pilot on which everybody passed)

1985

Wrote teleplay for ABC special "The Fourth Wise Man"

1979

Playwright-in-residence, Williamstown Theatre Festival; plays produced there include "This Is On Me", "The Underlings", "The Overcoat" and "The Spectre Bridegroom"

1975

Became playwright-in-residence at NYC's Writers Theatre

1969

Wrote "Johnny Appleseed: A Noh Play", produced at Studio Arena in Buffalo

Served as executive producer and writer for "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC)

Started a new, multi-million-dollar New York-based production company with Barry Levinson (Levinson-Fontana Productions)

Writer and producer for NBC series "St. Elsewhere"

Co-creator, executive producer and writer for short-lived NBC series "Tattinger's"

Grew up in Buffalo, New York

Bonus Trivia

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Fontana has received two Writers Guild of America Awards and a Peabody for his work on "Homicide: Life on the Street". He earned a Peabody, the Humanitas Prize and a Writers Guild Award (among others) while affiliated with "St. Elsewhere". He is also a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Fontana owns La Nonna, a restaurant in Manhattan.

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