Charlie Purpura

Screenwriter and screenwriting teacher

Screenwriter and screenwriting teacher Charlie Purpura died March 20 of natural causes in Massapequa, N.Y. He was 59.

He was the writer of “Heaven Help Us,” a film about teens in a Catholic high school, which starred Andrew McCarthy and Mary Stuart Masterson. His television film, “The Day The Senior Class Got Married” won a DGA Award and the Humanitas Award. “The Girls of Summer,” in which Julia Roberts played a member of a rock band, began as a television film and received theatrical release as “Satisfaction.”

As a teacher of screenwriting at The Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing in the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, Purpura was a mentor to undergraduate and grad students.

Born and raised in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, Purpura was a rock and roll musician before becoming a film writer.

He is survived by his wife Jennie and a son.

Donations in support of student scholarships may be sent to N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts, c/o Mark Dickerman, Chair Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, 721 Broadway, Room 742 New York, N.Y. 10003

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