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Elmore Leonard

Biography

American crime fiction, pulp fiction, and traditional western fiction writer whose most well-known works, including Get Shorty and Rum Punch, were modified into films. He received the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Honor in 2008 as well as the Country wide Book Honor in 2012. He was created in New Orleans, Louisiana and spent some of his years as a child in Detroit, Michigan. In 1950, he graduated through the College or university of Detroit having a level in British and beliefs and began operating as a duplicate article writer. The Quentin Tarantino film, Jackie Dark brown, was predicated on Leonard’s 1992 book, Rum Punch. He previously two daughters and three sons along with his 1st wife, Beverly Claire Cline. Pursuing his 1977 divorce from Cline, he was wedded twice even more: to Joan Shepard and Christine Kent. His book, Hombre, was converted to a film starring Paul Newman.

Quick Facts


Full Name Elmore Leonard
Date Of Birth October 11, 1925
Place Of Birth New Orleans, LA
Profession Novelist
Education University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, University of Detroit Mercy
Nationality American
Spouse Christine Kent, Joan Leanne Lancaster, Beverly Claire Cline
Children Peter Leonard, Bill Leonard, Chris Leonard, Jane Leonard, Kate Leonard
Parents Flora Amelia, Elmore John Leonard Sr.
Awards Edgar Award for Best Novel, Cartier Diamond Dagger, Edgar Grand Master Award, Hammett Prize, Swedish Academy of Crime Writers’ Award for Best Translated Crime Novel, Grand Prix de Littérature Policière - International Category, Michigan Author Award
Nominations Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original
Movies Jackie Brown, Out of Sight, Get Shorty, Be Cool, Hombre, Mr. Majestyk, The Tall T, 3:10 to Yuma, 52 Pick-Up, Life of Crime, Freaky Deaky, Joe Kidd, The Big Bounce, The Moonshine War, Valdez Is Coming, Last Stand at Saber River, Cat Chaser, Stick, Killshot, The Rosary Murders, Border Shootout, The Ambassador, The Tonto Woman, Touch, High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane, Sparks, Glitz
TV Shows Karen Sisco, Fire in the Hole
Star Sign Libra

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1The writer's favorite film adaptation of his books is Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown (1997) (from "Rum Punch").
2The author's "10 Rules of Writing" have attained near gospel status for both established and aspiring writers alike:
  • 1. Never open a book with weather. - 2. Avoid prologues. - 3. Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue. - 4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb "said". . .he admonished gravely. - 5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. - 6. Never use the words "suddenly" or "all hell broke loose." - 7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. - 8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. - 9. Don't go into great detail describing places and things. - 10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
3His many awards include the Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers, the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America, the Diamond Dagger Award from the Crime Writers' Association of Great Britain and, an honorary U.S. National Book Award for lifetime achievement (2012).
4Said to have been influenced by the writings of Ernest Hemingway.
5Worked as an advertising writer in the 1950's, initially only sidelining as an author of western fiction.
6Attended the University of Detroit, studying English and philosophy.
7Served with the Seabees in the U.S. Navy, 1943-45.
8His father, an executive with General Motors, moved the family to Detroit when he was nine years old. After graduating from high school in 1943, he spent two years in the Navy, graduated from the University of Detroit in 1950 and then became a copywriter for a local advertising agency.
9His first story was published in Argosy magazine in 1951, and in the following 60 years, Leonrd wrote a book every year, with his 45th, "Raylan," being published in 2012.
10Universal bought the rights to his novel "LaBrava" before it was published, but never produced it as a movie.
11Biography/bibliography in: "Contemporary Authors". New Revision Series, Vol. 133, pp. 307-315. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2005.
12In nearly every film made from his books, there is a scene where at least one person gets locked in the trunk of a car.
13Appeared in American Express print ads in the late 1980s. The photo, by Annie Leibovitz, appears on the back of the hardcover version of "Freaky Deaky".
14Refuses to use a word processor. He writes all his first drafts in longhand, then rewrites on a typewriter.
15Secretly wrote his earliest novels while working at an advertising agency. He kept paper in a desk drawer and wrote with his arm stuck in the drawer. When somebody came by his desk, he closed the drawer. He took his writings home every night and rewrote them.
16Currently resides in suburban Oakland County, Michigan. Many of his novels are set in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs.


Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
JustifiedTV Series based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" by - 36 episodes, 2010 - 2015 based on the short story 'Fire in the Hole' by - 24 episodes, 2012 - 2013 short story "Fire in the Hole" - 14 episodes, 2014 - 2015 story - 4 episodes, 2011 - 2013 based on the short story "Fire in the Hole" - 4 episodes, 2011
The Arrangement2013TV Movie story "When the Women Come Out to Dance"
Life of Crime2013based on the book "The Switch" written by
Freaky Deaky2012novel
Sparks2009/IShort based on a story by
Killshot2008novel
The Tonto Woman2008Short story
The 2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films: Live Action2008
3:10 to Yuma2007short story
Be Cool2005novel
Karen SiscoTV Series characters - 1 episode, 2004 story - 1 episode, 2003
The Big Bounce2004novel
Maximum Bob1998TV Series novel - 1 episode
Out of Sight1998novel
Jackie Brown1997novel "Rum Punch"
Gold Coast1997TV Movie novel
Pronto1997TV Movie book
Touch1997novel
Last Stand at Saber River1997TV Movie novel
Get Shorty1995novel
Split Images1992TV Movie novel
Border Shootout1990novel "The Law at Randado"
Desperado: Badlands Justice1989TV Movie creator
Cat Chaser1989novel / screenplay
Desperado: The Outlaw Wars1989TV Movie creator
Glitz1988TV Movie novel
Desperado: Avalanche at Devil's Ridge1988TV Movie creator
The Return of Desperado1988TV Movie creator
The Rosary Murders1987
Desperado1987TV Movie written by
52 Pick-Up1986novel / screenplay
Stick1985novel / screenplay
The Ambassador1984novel "52 Pick-Up"
High Noon, Part II: The Return of Will Kane1980TV Movie written by
Mr. Majestyk1974written by
Joe Kidd1972written by
Valdez Is Coming1971novel
The Moonshine War1970novel / screenplay
The Big Bounce1969novel
Hombre1967novel
3:10 to Yuma1957story
The Tall T1957based on a story by
Schlitz Playhouse1956TV Series story - 1 episode

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Justified2010-2014TV Series executive producer - 53 episodes
Justified: Sneak Peek2013Short executive producer
Life of Crime2013executive producer
Killshot2008executive producer
Be Cool2005executive producer
Jackie Brown1997executive producer

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Karen Sisco2003TV Series production consultant - 1 episode

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Life of Crime2013dedicatee
The Tonto Woman2008Short thanks
Inside 'Out of Sight'1998Video documentary short special thanks

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Cooper and Hemingway: The True Gen2013DocumentaryHimself
Elmore Leonard: A Detroit Classic2010DocumentaryHimself
A Conversation with Elmore Leonard2007Video documentary shortHimself
Get Shorty: Look at Me2005Video documentary shortHimself
Get Shorty: Wiseguys and Dolls2005Video documentary shortHimself
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes & Villains2003TV Special documentaryHimself
Jackie Brown: How It Went Down2002Video documentary shortHimself
The Daily Show2002TV SeriesHimself
Charlie Rose1995-2000TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Michigan & Trumbull1999DocumentaryHimself (novelist)
Inside 'Out of Sight'1998Video documentary shortHimself
The Media Show1988-1989TV SeriesHimself
Byline Showtime1988TV Series documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The 86th Annual Academy Awards2014TV SpecialHimself - Writer (In Memoriam)
Días de cine2013TV SeriesHimself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1999EdgarEdgar Allan Poe AwardsBest Motion PictureOut of Sight (1998)· Scott Frank (screenplay)
1998Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsTelevision Feature FilmLast Stand at Saber River (1997)· Michael Brandman (executive producer)
· Tom Selleck (executive producer/actor)
· Mary Ann Braubach (producer)
· Thomas John Kane (producer)
· Steven J. Brandman (producer)
· Dick Lowry (director)
· Ronald Cohen (writer)
· Keith Carradine (actor)
1988Special MentionCognac Festival du Film PolicierThe Rosary Murders (1987)· Fred Walton

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1996USC Scripter AwardUSC Scripter AwardGet Shorty (1995)· Scott Frank (screenwriter)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2013Spur AwardWestern Writers of AmericaBest Western Drama Script (Fiction)Justified (2010)· Graham Yost
· Dave Andron
· Fred Golan
· Benjamin Cavell
· Taylor Elmore
· Jon Worley
· Nichelle D. Tramble
· Ryan Farley
· Ingrid Escajeda
· VJ Boyd

TitleSalary
Hombre (1967)$10,000
The Tall T (1957)$5,000

#Quote
1The bad guys are the fun guys. The only people I have trouble with are the so-called normal types. Their language isn't very colorful, and they don't talk with any certain sound.
2[re villains' brevity of speech] You never tell the guy what could happen to him. Let him use his imagination, he'll think of something worse. In other words, don't talk when you don't have to.
3[on the process of writing] There isn't any secret. You sit down and you start and that's it.
4[on film versions of his work] I don't remember all the bad ones. I know "The Big Bounce" was bad, though, and they made it twice. It wasn't bad enough the first time [The Big Bounce (1969)]. I don't think anybody in the picture knew what they were doing. The second time they made it [The Big Bounce (2004)], they shot it in Hawaii. They would cut to surfers when they ran out of ideas.
5I think any writer is a fool if he doesn't do it for money. There needs to be some kind of incentive in addition to the project. It all goes together. It's fun to sit there and think of characters and get them into action, then be paid for it. I can't believe it when writers tell me, "I don't want to show my work to anybody". Well, what are you doing it for?
6If work was a good thing, the rich would have it all and not let you do it.
7[about the adaptation of his book "Get Shorty"] All the adaptations of my books all sucked. This one [Get Shorty (1995)] got it right for once.
8[his first rule of writing dialog] If it sounds written, it's wrong.
9I try to leave out the parts readers skip.

#Trademark
1Spends the first half of a novel setting up various unrelated characters, then in the second half has them all interact, providing completely unpredictable consequences
2Major characters in his novels tend to have a checkered past. Their criminal tendencies gives Leonard the option of having his central figures tap into negative or positive traits for surprising end twist.

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