Daniel Zelman Biography

(Screenwriter and Director Who Created The FX Series 'Damages')

Birthday: June 16, 1967 (Gemini)

Born In: Rye, New York, United States

Daniel Zelman is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and television producer, best known as the creator of the drama series ‘Damages.’ Daniel always aspired to become an actor and took professional training in acting from New York’s ‘Tisch School of the Arts.’ Born into a Jewish family, Daniel began his acting career in 1993, appearing in a guest role in the series ‘Law & Order.’ He followed this by playing a supporting role in the film ‘Let It Be Me.’ In the 1990s, he appeared in small roles in series’ such as ‘Weird Science’ and ‘Ned and Stacey.’ In addition to this, he also appeared in films such as ‘Milk & Money’ and ‘What Lies Beneath.’ As a director, he has directed 2 episodes each of the series’ titled ‘Bloodline’ and ‘Damages.’ He received credits for writing story and screenplays of many episodes in both the series.’
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Daniel Luke Zelman

Age: 56 Years, 56 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Debra Messing (m. 2000 – div. 2016)

siblings: Aaron Zelman

children: Roman Walker Zelman

Born Country: United States

Jewish Actors Screenwriters

Height: 5'8" (173 cm), 5'8" Males

U.S. State: New Yorkers

City: Rye, New York

More Facts

education: New York University, Harvard College

Childhood & Early Life
Daniel Zelman was born Daniel Luke Zelman, on June 16, 1967, in Rye, New York, to Jewish American parents. He was the first born son in the family and had a younger brother, Aaron Zelman, who also went on to become a writer/producer.
Although none of his parents had any connection with the entertainment industry, Daniel somehow became interested in acting.
He completed his high school graduation from his hometown and decided to pursue a degree in performance arts. He enrolled at the ‘Tisch School of the Arts’ in New York City and completed the graduate acting program. Following his graduation from college, Daniel began auditioning for roles in films and television.
In 1993, Daniel began his acting career playing a guest role as ‘Bruce Abelson’ in the ‘Black Tie’ episode of the series ‘Law & Order.’ It took Daniel two years to earn his next acting stint.
He appeared in a supporting role in the 1995 film ‘Let It Be Me,’ which was also his film debut. In the next year, he appeared in a supporting role in the film ‘Milk & Money.’
In 1996, he appeared as ‘Dave’ in two episodes of the series ‘Ned and Stacey’ and followed it with a supporting role in the television series ‘Weird Science’ and a supporting role in the television film titled ‘Prison of Secrets.’
He failed to get his acting career on track and before giving up on acting, he appeared in a small role in the film ‘What Lies Beneath,’ followed by a guest role in the series ‘The Practice.’
In 2000, he co-produced the science fiction horror television film ‘They Nest.’ The film received moderate to bad reviews.
He took a few years’ break before venturing into production yet again. In 2007, he co-wrote and co-created the legal thriller series ‘Damages.’ The series was an immediate critical and commercial success and ran for 5 seasons and 59 episodes. The series won 4 ‘Emmy’ awards along with a ‘Golden Globe.’ It has also won many nominations over the years.
Daniel, along with co-writers Todd A. Kessler and Glenn Kessler, won a nomination for an ‘Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing of a Drama Series’ for writing the pilot episode. Apart from creating and writing many episodes in the series,’ Daniel also donned the director’s hat for 2 episodes of the series (‘I Need to Win’ and ‘It’s Not My Birthday’).
The success of ‘Damages’ helped Daniel in finding his footing in the industry. In 2015, he served as executive producer of the series ‘Bloodline.’ He also directed 2 episodes and wrote 4 episodes. He received credit as ‘creator’ of 33 episodes.
In 2018, he served as the consulting producer of the series ‘Succession.’ He received the credit for consulting producer in 9 episodes of the series.
He has also received credits for writing story/screenplays of films such as ‘Fool’s Gold,’ ‘Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid,’ and ‘They Nest.’
Family & Personal Life
In 1990, while he was studying at New York University’s ‘Tisch School of the Arts,’ Daniel Zelman met actress Debra Messing, who was also a student there. The couple dated through the 1990s and got married in 2000. They had a son together in 2004, named Roman Walker Zelman.
In December 2011, the couple announced that they were ending their marriage after 11 years of being together. Debra filed for divorce in June 2012, which was finalised in March 2016.

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