He will be honored at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 11 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
“James L. Brooks looms large for writers in our business,” said WGA West president David A.. Goodman. “His movie scripts walk a razor’s edge; they are comedies that are tinged with tragedy, they have moments of absurdity mixed with sharply observed truths. The beauty of his work is that you never hear the writer behind it, his characters talk like real people and his scripts feel like life. We at the WGAW Board of Directors consider it our honor to give him this award.”
Brooks is a three-time Academy Award winner, an 18-time Emmy Award winner, and four-time Writers Guild Award winner. He created “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its trio of hit spinoffs, “Rhoda,” “Lou Grant,” and “Phyllis,” as well as “Taxi.”
He went on to write, direct, and produce “Terms of Endearment,” adapted from the novel by Larry McMurtry. The film, which garnered eleven Oscar nominations, earned Brooks three Academy Awards, including best adapted screenplay, best director, and a best picture Oscar, as well as a Writers Guild Award for his screenplay and a Golden Globe for best screenplay.
Brooks wrote, directed, and produced 1987’s “Broadcast News,” which received Oscar noms for best picture and best original screenplay, and earned WGA and Golden Globe screenplay noms.
In 1997, Brooks co-wrote, produced, and directed “As Good as It Gets,” which received seven Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best original screenplay, as well as best actor and best actress wins for co-stars Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt. Brooks also earned a Writers Guild Award for the movie.
Brooks wrote and directed the 2004 dramedy “Spanglish” and co-wrote and produced “The Simpsons Movie.” In 2010, Brooks wrote and directed the romantic comedy “How Do You Know,” and most recently produced the 2016’s “Edge of Seventeen,” written and directed by Kelly Fremon Craig, making her directorial debut.
The WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement is awarded to a Writers Guild member who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter. Past recipients include Elaine May, Oliver Stone, Harold Ramis, David Mamet, Robert Towne, Tom Stoppard, Paul Mazursky, Lawrence Kasdan, Eric Roth, and Steven Zaillian.