Frank Pierson: Film director (1925 - 2012)
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Frank Pierson
Film director

Frank Pierson

Frank Pierson
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Film director
A.K.A. Frank Romer Pierson
Was Film director Screenwriter Film producer
From United States of America
Field Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 12 May 1925, New York
Death 22 July 2012, Los Angeles (aged 87 years)
The details (from wikipedia)


Frank Romer Pierson (May 12, 1925 – July 22, 2012) was an American screenwriter and film director.

Life and career

Pierson was born in Chappaqua, New York, the son of Louise (née Randall), a writer, and Harold C. Pierson. Pierson's parents, family and their lives, were the subject of the 1943 book entitled Roughly Speaking and a 1945 movie of the same name, starring Rosalind Russell and Jack Carson as his parents.

Pierson served in the military during World War II, then graduated from Harvard. He worked as a correspondent for Time and Life magazines before selling his first script to Alcoa-Goodyear Theater. He got his break in Hollywood in 1958 as script editor for Have Gun, Will Travel and moved on to write for the television series Naked City, Route 66 and others. He went on to write or co-write several notable films, including Cat Ballou and Cool Hand Luke which were both nominated for Academy Awards. He wrote Dog Day Afternoon, which won Pierson his Oscar statuette. He directed and contributed to the screenplay of A Star Is Born, and the in-fighting between himself, Barbra Streisand, Kris Kristofferson and producer (and at the time boyfriend of Streisand) Jon Peters on the film led him to write the article "My Battles with Barbra and Jon" for The Village Voice.

Pierson directed several notable films produced for television, including Dirty Pictures, Citizen Cohn, Conspiracy, and Somebody Has To Shoot the Picture. His direction on Conspiracy won a Directors' Guild Award for Best Television Movie, and his second Peabody and BAFTA Award.

He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) from 1981 to 1983 and again from 1993 to 1995 and was President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) from 2001 to 2005. In 2003, Pierson was the recipient of the Austin Film Festival's Distinguished Screenwriter Award. Screenwriter Brian Helgeland presented him with the Award. He was a consultant on Mad Men and co-wrote (with Matthew Weiner) "Signal 30" – the fifth episode of the fifth season of Mad Men, a member of the teaching staff of Sundance Institute, and Artistic Director of the American Film Institute.

Pierson died on July 22, 2012 in his home in Los Angeles, California. He was survived by his wife Helene and his two children.



  • Have Gun – Will Travel (1962) (TV series)
  • Route 66 (1963) (TV series)
  • The Looking Glass War (1969)
  • The Neon Ceiling (1971)
  • Nichols (1971) (TV series)
  • The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1973) (TV series)
  • A Star Is Born (1976)
  • King of the Gypsies (1978)
  • Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1985) (TV series)
  • Somebody has to Shoot the Picture (1990)
  • Citizen Cohn (1992)
  • Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee (1994)
  • Truman (1995)
  • Dirty Pictures (2000)
  • Conspiracy (2001)
  • Soldier's Girl (2003)
  • Paradise (2004)


  • Have Gun – Will Travel (1962) (TV series)
  • Naked City (1962-1963)
  • Route 66 (1963)
  • Cat Ballou (1965)
  • The Happening (1967)
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • The Looking Glass War (1969)
  • The 42nd Annual Academy Awards (1970)
  • The Anderson Tapes (1971)
  • Nichols (1971-1972)
  • The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (1973)
  • Amanda Fallon (1973)
  • Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
  • A Star Is Born (1976)
  • King of the Gypsies (1978)
  • Haywire (1980)
  • In Country (1989)
  • Presumed Innocent (1990)
  • The Good Wife (2010)
  • Mad Men (2012)

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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