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March 10: Celebrate the birth of screenwriter/director, Paul Haggis!
Date: 3/10/2017 7:54 AM

Paul Haggis "A good film makes you ask questions of yourself as you leave the theatre."

Today we celebrate the birth of screenwriter/director, Paul Haggis—born on this date in 1953. Born in London, Ontario, Haggis moved to Los Angeles in 1975, to begin a career in writing for the entertainment industry. He began his career as a writer for television programs, such as One Day at a Time, Diff'rent Strokes, and The Facts of Life—which also gave him his first taste of producing. In 1988 he won two Primetime Emmy Awards, as a writer and supervising producer for the popular drama, Thirtysomething. He continued to work primarily in television through the 1990's, creating and writing for such series as Walker, Texas Ranger, and Family Law.

Haggis gained recognition in the film industry with his screenplay for the Academy Award winning 2004 film Million Dollar Baby, directed by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood would direct another of Haggis' screenplays two years later, when he made the film, Flags of Our Fathers (2006). Haggis also co-wrote the story for Eastwood's companion film, Letters From Iwo Jima, also in 2006.

Haggis also worked on the 2004 film Crash, not only writing the screenplay but also directing and producing the film. He received two Academy Awards for his work: Best Picture (as the film's producer), and Best Screenplay—marking the first time the same person won Oscars for Best Screenplay in back-to-back years. He was also nominated for Best Director for the film. When Crash was adapted for television in 2008, Haggis served as executive producer of the series, which ran for 26 episodes.

In 2007, Haggis wrote, directed and produced In the Valley of Elah (2007), a drama of a father's search for his missing son. In 2008, he co-wrote the James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, which won an Empire Award in the UK for Best Action Film. In 2010, Haggis wrote and directed the crime drama, The Next Three Days, which was also the first feature film produced by Highway 61 Entertainment, the production company that Haggis co-founded.

Haggis' most recent screenplay was for the 2013 film, Third Person, a romantic drama starring Liam Neeson that Haggis also directed. He also served as director and executive producer of the 6-part television mini-series, Show Me A Hero which aired in 2015. In 2016, Haggis was executive producer of the adventure thriller, Gold, starring Matthew McConaughey (see previous blog post).

To date, Paul Haggis has received five Academy Award nominations, winning two awards in 2006. He also has two Primetime Emmy Awards and a BAFTA Award, among the numerous other awards and recognitions he has received throughout his career. Check out a Paul Haggis DVD at your Pinal County Libraries!

[SOURCES: Wikipedia, IMDb.com, and BrainyQuote.com]

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