James L. Brooks

Highest Rated: 100% Icebox (2018)
Lowest Rated: 32% How Do You Know (2010)
Birthday: May 9, 1940
Birthplace: North Bergen, New Jersey, USA
One of the few producer/director/writers to handle both movie and TV assignments with equal aplomb, James L. Brooks was born in Brooklyn and spent his college years in New York City. Following an apprenticeship with CBS news, Brooks went to work for documentary producer David L. Wolper. In 1969, Brooks broke into the non-documentary end of the business with his TV series drama Room 222, which, though dated and obvious when viewed today, was an important stepping stone in improving the racial balance on prime time television. Room 222 was a "serious" effort; thus, Hollywood insiders were surprised when Brooks formed a partnership with writer Allan Burns, formerly of such raucous projects as The Bullwinkle Show and My Mother the Car, to develop sitcoms. Brooks and Burns knew what sort of programs they wanted to do, but they were forced to fight tooth and nail with the CBS higher-ups to get what they wanted on the air. Nobody, they were told, wanted to see a show about a single woman working at a television station. Further, nobody wanted to see anyone on TV who was Jewish, had a mustache, or came from New York City. All these "unwanted" elements would be present in the Brooks/Burns project The Mary Tyler Moore Show; the show that nobody wanted ran from 1970 through 1977, earning its production team a multitude of awards. Brooks would later be on the ground floor of such TV hits as Cheers and Taxi, which more than compensated for such relative failures as The Associates. Moving into films as a producer/scripter (Starting Over, 1979) and even an occasional actor (Albert Brooks's Modern Romance, 1981), Brooks would end up director/producer/writer of Terms of Endearment, the Academy Award winner of 1983. He went on to direct Broadcast News (1987), a truer but no less hilarious and poignant glance at the cutthroat network news business than Mary Tyler Moore Show had been. He also found great success as a producer on such films as Big (1988), ...Say Anything (1989), and Jerry Maguire (1996). During the '90s, Brooks has had equal parts success and failure. Among the winning projects was The Simpsons, the first successful prime time cartoon series since The Flintstones. Brooks' less spectacular efforts have included I'll Do Anything (1994); conceived and filmed as a return to the Big-Budget Musical genre, it tested so poorly that it was released with all the songs cut out. In 1997, however, Brooks had a major success with the Jack Nicholson/Helen Hunt vehicle As Good As It Gets, a caustic comedy with a heart of gold that provided both Hunt and Nicholson best acting kudos from the Oscars and Golden Globe ceremonies. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Picture and was nominated for several more. It also received several more Oscar nominations, including one for Best Screenplay. He took seven years before making his next feature, Spanglish, a movie about a marriage on the rocks that Brooks undertook around the time he and his own wife split. Three years later he was one of the producers of The Simpsons Movie, and in 2010 he returned with the romantic comedy How Do You Know.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
100% Icebox Producer 2018
85% Harry Benson: Shoot First Actor $18.3K 2016
94% The Edge of Seventeen Producer $14.3M 2016
36% Misery Loves Comedy Actor $5.8K 2014
32% How Do You Know Producer $30.3M 2010
88% The Simpsons Movie Producer Screenwriter $183.2M 2007
53% Spanglish Screenwriter Director Producer $42.1M 2004
49% Riding in Cars With Boys Producer $29.7M 2001
No Score Yet 'The Simpsons': America's First Family Actor 2000
85% As Good as It Gets Screenwriter Producer Director 1997
83% Jerry Maguire Producer 1996
85% Bottle Rocket Executive Producer Producer 1996
61% I'll Do Anything Director Screenwriter Producer 1994
84% The War of the Roses Producer 1989
98% Say Anything... Executive Producer 1989
97% Big Producer 1988
98% Broadcast News Screenwriter Producer 1987
88% Terms of Endearment Producer Screenwriter Director 1983
81% Modern Romance David 1981
No Score Yet Starting Over Producer 1979
89% Real Life Evaluator 1979
No Score Yet Thursday's Game Producer Director Screenwriter 1974

TV

CREDIT
85% The Simpsons
1989
Voice Executive Producer Screenwriter Producer
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2001
  • 2000
  • 1999
  • 1998
  • 1997
  • 1996
  • 1995
  • 1994
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1990
  • 1989
93% The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling
2018
  • 2018
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013-2017
Guest
  • 2004
No Score Yet Taxi
1978-1983
Executive Producer Screenwriter
  • 1978
No Score Yet The Mary Tyler Moore Show
1970-1977
Executive Producer Screenwriter Producer
  • 1977
  • 1976
  • 1972
  • 1971
  • 1970
No Score Yet Rhoda
1978
Screenwriter Producer
  • 1974
No Score Yet The Andy Griffith Show
1960-1968
Screenwriter
  • 1968
No Score Yet The Tracey Ullman Show
1987-1990
Executive Producer

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