Famous American Screenplay Writers

Right IconThis ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite American Screenplay Writers
 1 
Shonda Rhimes
(Television Producer)
Shonda Rhimes
4
Birthdate: January 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chicago

Shonda Rhimes is a screenwriter, author, and television producer. She is credited with creating, writing, and executive producing one of the most popular American medical drama TV series ever, Grey's Anatomy. She is also credited with creating series like Private Practice and Scandal. In 2007, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 People Who Help Shape the World.

 2 
Leslie Jones
(Comedian)
Leslie Jones
4
Birthdate: September 7, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, United States
 3 
Nora Ephron
(Screenwriter, Producer, Director)
Nora Ephron
4
Birthdate: May 19, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: June 26, 2012

Nora Ephron was an American writer, filmmaker, and journalist. She is known for writing films like Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally... The Nora Ephron Prize was created by the Tribeca Film Festival in her memory. Her life and work inspired the 2016 documentary film Everything Is Copy, which was directed by her son Jacob Bernstein.

 4 
Gene Roddenberry
(Screenwriter, Producer, and Creator of American TV Series, 'Star Trek: The Original Series')
Gene Roddenberry
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: El Paso
Died: October 24, 1991
TV writer and producer Gene Roddenberry, who created the original Star Trek series of the 1960s, also produced its spin-offs. He was the first TV writer to have a Hollywood Walk of Fame star and was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. His ashes were flown into space.
 5 
Noah Baumbach
(Filmmaker)
Noah Baumbach
4
Birthdate: September 3, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City, New York

Noah Baumbach is an American filmmaker and screenwriter. One of the most critically acclaimed filmmakers of his generation, Noah Baumbach has received Academy Award nominations for films, such as Marriage Story and The Squid and the Whale. His style of filmmaking is cited as an influence by many aspiring filmmakers.

 6 
David Mamet
(One of the Most Prolific Filmmakers of the Modern Era Who Was Known for His Psychological Dramas)
David Mamet
3
Birthdate: November 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Author, screenwriter, and playwright David Mamet is best known for his Pulitzer-winning and Tony-nominated play Glengarry Glen Ross. He has written for many Broadway and off-Broadway plays and also for films such as House of Games. He has produced and written for the show The Unit and authored several books.

 7 
Neil Simon
(Playwright & Screenwriter)
Neil Simon
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York
Died: August 26, 2018
 8 
David Ayer
(Screenwriter, Film director, Film producer, Actor)
David Ayer
4
Birthdate: January 18, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Champaign
 9 
Charlie Kaufman
(Screenwriter)
Charlie Kaufman
4
Birthdate: November 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Charlie Kaufman is an American screenwriter, director, producer, and novelist. One of the most decorated screenwriters of his generation, Kaufman has won several prestigious awards, such as the Academy Award, BAFTA Awards, and Writers Guild of America award. Three of his scripts feature in the 101 greatest movie screenplays list published by the Writers Guild of America.

 10 
Shane Van Dyke
(Actor, Screenwriter, Film director, Television actor)
Shane Van Dyke
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1979
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles
 11 
Douglas Fairbanks
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: December 12, 1939
 12 
Max Landis
(Screenwriter, Film actor, Film director)
Max Landis
4
Birthdate: August 3, 1985
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Beverly Hills
 13 
Joss Whedon
(Screenwriter, Director & Producer)
Joss Whedon
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1964
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
Joss Whedon is best known for creating the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly. He has directed the Marvel film The Avengers and its sequel. He co-wrote Justice League and Toy Story. He has also created various comic book series, such as Astonishing X-Men, and owns two production houses.
 14 
Nick Castle
(Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, Film actor)
Nick Castle
3
Birthdate: September 21, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles
 15 
James L. Brooks
(Film producer, Film director)
James L. Brooks
3
Birthdate: May 9, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
 16 
Shane Black
(Screenwriter, Film director, Actor)
Shane Black
4
Birthdate: December 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
 17 
Amy Sherman-Palladino
(She is the creator of the comedy-drama series Gilmore Girls)
Amy Sherman-Palladino
3
Birthdate: January 17, 1966
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Amy Sherman-Palladino created many popular comedy-drama series, such as Gilmore Girls, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Bunheads. The six-time Primetime Emmy-winning director became the first female won win the Emmy for direction and comedy writing. She owns a production house and is known for her signature master-shot style.
 18 
Wyatt Cooper
(Author)
Wyatt Cooper
3
Birthdate: September 1, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Quitman, Mississippi, United States
Died: January 5, 1978

Wyatt Cooper was an American author, actor, and screenwriter. He is remembered for his marriage with socialite Gloria Vanderbilt—a union that produced Anderson Cooper, a popular television journalist. While being married to Gloria Vanderbilt, Wyatt Cooper often made public appearances and enjoyed hogging the limelight.

 19 
S. E. Hinton
(Writer)
S. E. Hinton
3
Birthdate: July 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States
 20 
Elaine May
(Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright)
Elaine May
3
Birthdate: April 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
 21 
Akiva Schaffer
(Actor, Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Film editor, Songwriter, Writer, Television actor)
Akiva Schaffer
3
Birthdate: December 1, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berkeley
 22 
Dan Gilroy
(Screenwriter, Film director best known for writing and directing Nightcrawler (2014))
Dan Gilroy
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Santa Monica, California, United States
 23 
Peter Marc Jacobson
(Screenwriter, Film producer, Television actor, Film actor, Film director, Actor)
Peter Marc Jacobson
3
Birthdate: October 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City
 24 
Nat Faxon
(Actor Who Won The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Co-Writing The Descendants)
Nat Faxon
4
Birthdate: October 11, 1975
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Nathaniel Faxon is best known for his Academy Award-winning screenplay of The Descendants. He appeared as Ben Fox in the series Ben and Kate and as Russ in Married. He has also lent his voice to many projects, such as Disenchantment and co-directed films such as The Way, Way Back.

 25 
Simon Kinberg
(Screenwriter, Film producer)
Simon Kinberg
3
Birthdate: August 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
 26 
Christopher McQuarrie
(Screenwriter)
Christopher McQuarrie
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1968
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Princeton, New Jersey, United States
 27 
Eric Kripke
(Screenwriter, Television director, Film director)
Eric Kripke
3
Birthdate: April 24, 1974
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toledo
 28 
Greg Berlanti
(Screenwriter, Film producer)
Greg Berlanti
3
Birthdate: May 24, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Suffern, New York, United States
 29 
Damon Lindelof
(Screenwriter)
Damon Lindelof
3
Birthdate: April 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Teaneck, New Jersey, United States
 30 
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(Writer, Director, Producer)
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1909
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 5, 1993
Polish-American screenwriter and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz won Academy Awards for his work in the movies All About Eve and Letter to Three Wives. He was associated with Paramount, MGM, and Twentieth Century Fox. He also had his own production company, Figaro, and directed the film Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor.
 31 
Mike Henry
(Comedian)
Mike Henry
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pontiac, Michigan, United States
 32 
Drew Goddard
(Film director, Screenwriter, Writer)
Drew Goddard
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Alamos
 33 
Alex Kurtzman
(Screenwriter, Film director, Film producer)
Alex Kurtzman
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles
 34 
Diablo Cody
(Screenwriter, Producer, Director, Dancer, Writer, Journalist)
Diablo Cody
3
Birthdate: June 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lemont, Illinois, United States
 35 
Burnie Burns
(Screenplay Writer, Actor, Entrepreneur, Filmmaker)
Burnie Burns
3
Birthdate: January 18, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rochester, New York, United States
 36 
Paula Pell
(Screenwriter)
Paula Pell
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Joliet, Illinois, United States
 37 
Christopher Lloyd
(screenwriter, film producer)
Christopher Lloyd
2
Birthdate: June 18, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Stamford
 38 
Nicholas Pileggi
(Writer, Screenwriter, Film producer, Journalist)
Nicholas Pileggi
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City
 39 
Bryan Fuller
(Screenwriter, Television producer)
Bryan Fuller
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lewiston
 40 
Stephen J. Cannell
(Television producer)
Stephen J. Cannell
3
Birthdate: February 5, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: September 30, 2010
 41 
Lillian Hellman
(Dramatist and Screenwriter)
Lillian Hellman
2
Birthdate: June 20, 1905
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Died: June 30, 1984
 42 
Dino Stamatopoulos
(Voice actor, Screenwriter)
Dino Stamatopoulos
2
Birthdate: December 14, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Norridge
 43 
Akiva Goldsman
(Screenwriter, Film producer, Film director, Writer)
Akiva Goldsman
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City
 44 
Sam Simon
(Poker player, Writer, Sportsperson, Screenwriter, Actor)
Sam Simon
3
Birthdate: June 6, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles
Died: March 8, 2015
 45 
Paddy Chayefsky
(Screenwriter)
Paddy Chayefsky
2
Birthdate: January 29, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: August 1, 1981
 46 
Robert Wuhl
2
Birthdate: October 9, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Union, New Jersey, United States
 47 
Robert Tapert
(Film producer)
Robert Tapert
3
Birthdate: May 14, 1955
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Royal Oak, Michigan, United States
 48 
Dan Povenmire
(Director)
Dan Povenmire
2
Birthdate: September 18, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States
 49 
Steve Higgins
(Screenwriter, Actor, Television actor)
Steve Higgins
3
Birthdate: August 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Des Moines
 50 
John Logan
(screenwriter, writer)
John Logan
2
Birthdate: September 24, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States