Warren Leight

Screenwriter, Playwright, Director
After a circuitous route that included stints as a teacher in China, a scriptwriter at a low-budget exploitation production company and a journalist, Warren Leight found critical acclaim and popular success with his ... Read more »
Born: 01/16/1957 in New York City, New York, USA


Writer (9)

Chicago PD 2015 (Tv Show)

Story By

Mother's Day 2012 (Movie)

(from original screenplay: "Mother's Day) (Source Material)

Dear God 1996 (Movie)


The Night We Never Met 1993 (Movie)


Me and Him 1989 (Movie)


National Lampoon's Hot Flashes 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)


Stuck on You! 1983 (Movie)


Mother's Day 1980 (Movie)

Producer (3)

Law & Order: Criminal Intent 2002 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2003 - 2015 (Tv Show)


Lights Out 2003 - 2012, 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)

Executive Producer
Director (2)

In Treatment 2003 - 2012, 2014 - 2015 (Tv Show)


The Night We Never Met 1993 (Movie)

Actor (1)

Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema Of Edwin S. Porter 1981 (Movie)

("Terrible Teddy") (Voice)


After a circuitous route that included stints as a teacher in China, a scriptwriter at a low-budget exploitation production company and a journalist, Warren Leight found critical acclaim and popular success with his autobiographical drama "Side Man", produced on the New York stage in 1998. The New York native crafted a memory play that explored the familial relationships among a jazz trumpeter, his alcoholic wife and their son caught in the middle. Originally produced in a small theater off-off-Broadway, the show transferred to off-Broadway and then finally to Broadway (with Christian Slater in the leading role) where it was one of the three finalists for the 1999 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.


Donald Leight

born c. 1923 played jazz with Claude Thornhill, Woody Herman and others

Timmy Leight

born c. 1928 of Italian-American heritage played small role in "A Certain Sacrifice" (1979)


Stanford University

Stanford , California 1977
attended on full scholarship



Premiered revised version of "The Glimmer Brothers", now called "Glimmer, Glimmer and Shine", at the Mark Taper Forum in L.A.


Signed to write screenplay for sequel to "The Commitments"


New play "The Glimmer Brothers" premiered at Williamstown Theater Festival


"Side Man" opened Off-Off-Broadway at Classic Stage Company (CSC) then transferred Off-Broadway to Roundabout Theater and later to Broadway (with Christian Slater in a leading role); play was finalist for 1999 Pulitzer Prize; also received Tony nomination


First prodcution of his autobiographical play "Side Man" at Manhattan's West Bank Cafe


Wrote the original script for "Dear God"; Leight has said that after several drafts the project was taken away from him and 11 other writers worked on film but he shared screen credit in the released version; referred to it as "a humiliating disaster"


Feature directorial debut, "The Night We Never Met"; also debut as solo screenwriter


Was one of three credited writers for the script of Doris Dorre's "Me and Him"


Contributed to the Off-Broadway musical revue "Mayor!"


Contributed to the syndicated TV series "National Lampoon's Hot Flashes"


First screenplay produced, the low-budget thriller "Mother's Day",; co-wrote with director Charles Kaufman; credited as Warren D Leight


Returned to NYC when his mother became ill


After graduating college, worked as a house painter in Northern California

Raised in NYC

Worked a variety of odd jobs, including as freelance journalist, joke writer, stand-up comic and teacher

Wrote or rewrote screenplays for a Manhattan-based low-budget exploitation production company (Troma)

Bonus Trivia


Leight was injured in an autmobile accident in July 1997 and spent three months in the hospital. Eight months later "Side Man" opened off-off-Broadway.


On directing "The Night We Never Met", which was produced by Miramax and entailed daily battles with Harvey Weinstein over casting and editing:"I don't do well if people shout at me, and Harvey shouts. . . . Unless it's a four-star Academy Award movie, I think Harvey feels really shamed by a B-plus effort. It's like you have a kid, OK, he's not going to go to Harvard and he'll get in to UC Santa Cruz. That's fine. But Harvey's like, 'No, let's send him back to preschool, no, let's get him a new suit, let's send him to military school, let's kill him.' I figure I grew up in an abusive household, I didn't want to work in one."--Leight quoted in LOS ANGELES TIMES, January 31, 1999


". . . In my house, I was either a switchboard operator or a translator. It was like those homes where the parents spoke one language, and the kids learned English. You try to learn enough of your father's native language so that you can communicate with him, because he's not learning yours. These musicians would come over to the house, and I could talk cbout what they're playing, the Detroit Tigers. . . . They'd have little 'Rain Man'-like focused areas. Part of what I gre up doing was bridging gaps between people." --Warren Leight quoted in INTHEATER, July 10, 1998


"Film is good money, but there's areason: they pay you to go away. 'Side Man' is filled with my voice because it's my story." --Leight to THE NEW YORK TIMES, June 21, 1998


"If I'd finished ['Side Man'] at 24, it would have been a 'fuck-you-Mom-fuck-you-Dad' play. But because it took so long, it has perspective. It's less nasty, more cathartic. Maybe even forgiving." --Warren Leight to TIME OUT NEW YORK, June 18-25, 1998