Elaine May Honored by Writers Guild of America

Elaine May
Carolyn Contino/BEI/REX/Shutterstock

Elaine May will receive the Writers Guild of America West’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement to honor her career and body of work.

May will be honored at the Writers Guild Awards Los Angeles ceremony to be held on Feb. 13 at the Century Plaza.

“Elaine May defines the phrase ‘smart and funny,’” said WGA West President Howard A. Rodman. “From the Compass Players to Nichols & May to ‘A New Leaf’ and ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ and Mikey and Nicky, she invented a strain of knowing, painful, ironic humor that quickly became central to what we now think of as comedy. She’s received Oscar nominations and WGA nominations and Writers Guild Awards, all well-deserved; but it is time to recognize, plainly and simply, the debt that all of us owe to her brave, groundbreaking, fiercely intelligent, deeply human, relentlessly honest, scorchingly funny work.”

May has been a member of the WGA West since 1962. May received her first Writers Guild Award nomination for her 1971 debut film “A New Leaf,” which she also directed and co-starred in opposite Walter Matthau. May earned a Writers Guild Award and an Oscar nomination for co-writing Warren Beatty’s comedy “Heaven Can Wait.”

May also received a Writers Guild Award nomination for 1996’s “The Birdcage.” She won a BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Primary Colors” along with Academy and Writers Guild nominations.

Her other screenwriting credits include 1971’s “Such Good Friends,” 1976’s “Mikey and Nicky” and 1987’s “Ishtar,” which she also directed. May also directed the 1972 romantic comedy “The Heartbreak Kid.”

May has also appeared in “Enter Laughing” (1967), “California Suite” (1978), “In the Spirit” (1990) and co-starred opposite Woody Allen in “Small Time Crooks” (2000), which earned her a National Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actress.

In 1994, she received the American Comedy Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy. In 2000, she shared the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival’s Career Tribute award with her frequent collaborator Mike Nichols.

May was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama in 2013.

Past recipients of the WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement include screenwriters David Mamet, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Benton, Barry Levinson, Steven Zaillian, Eric Roth, Tom Stoppard, Paul Mazursky and Harold Ramis.

 

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 2

Leave a Reply

2 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Me says:

    She also wrote ISHTAR

  2. Lisa says:

    May be? Now we’re picking out maybe’s from the bucket. How about we just nominate her and quit talking about doing it.

More Film News from Variety

Loading