Female screenwriters - Oscar winners or nominatedby Rodrigo_Amaro | created - 03 Jan 2014 | updated - 4 months ago | Public
1. Jane Campion
Writer | The Piano
Jane Campion was born in Wellington, New Zealand, and now lives in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Having graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Victoria University of Wellington in 1975, and a BA, with a painting major, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, she began filmmaking in the early...
Director | Lost in Translation
Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...
Actress | Sense and Sensibility
Emma Thompson was born in London on April 15, 1959, into a family of actors - her father was Eric Thompson, who has passed away, and her mother, Phyllida Law, has co-starred with Thompson in several films (her sister, Sophie Thompson, is an actor as well). Her father was English-born and her mother...
Writer | Thelma & Louise
Raised in Texas and Kentucky by her doctor father and mother. Went to Purdue University to study landscape architecture but switched to drama. Moved to Nashville after college to be with her family before heading to Los Angeles in 1982 to study at the Strasburg Institute. Worked for a commercials ...
7. Fran Walsh
Fran Walsh was born on January 10, 1959 in Wellington, New Zealand. She is known for her work on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). She has been married to Peter Jackson ...
Writer | Mrs. Miniver
British novelist and playwright, who began as a writer of magazine articles. In Hollywood from 1929, she worked under contract at MGM, often on continuity scripts or additional dialogue, on British-themed prestige pictures, invariably in collaboration with others.
10. Frances Marion
Writer | The Big House
The most renowned female screenwriter of the 20th century, and one of the most respected scripters of any gender, Frances Marion was born in San Francisco. She modeled and acted and had some success as a commercial artist. She entered into journalism and served in Europe as a combat correspondent ...
Writer | Howards End
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala was born on May 7, 1927 in Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany as Ruth Prawer. She was a writer, known for Howards End (1992), A Room with a View (1985) and The Remains of the Day (1993). She was married to Cyrus Jhabvala. She died on April 3, 2013 in Manhattan, New York ...
12. Diablo Cody
Writer | Juno
Diablo Cody is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Minnesota to live with her Internet boyfriend, Jonny who later became her husband. While there, she decided on a whim to take up stripping as a hobby of sorts.
She was working at an ad agency and got a promotion. The job wore her ragged ...
16. Julie Delpy
Actress | Trois couleurs: Blanc
Julie Delpy was born in Paris, France, in 1969 to Albert Delpy and Marie Pillet, both actors.
She was first featured in Jean-Luc Godard's Détective (1985) at the age of fourteen. She has starred in many American and European productions since then, including Disney's The Three Musketeers (...
18. Alice Arlen
Writer | Silkwood
Alice Albright Patterson was born in November 1940 to the journalist and former aviatrix Josephine Patterson Albright and her husband artist Ivan Albright. Brought up in Chicago and educated at Radcliffe College and the University of Columbia Alice returned to Chicago to work as a journalist and ...
19. Nora Ephron
Writer | Julie & Julia
Nora Ephron was educated at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. She was an acclaimed essayist (Crazy Salad 1975), novelist (Heartburn 1983), and had written screenplays for several popular films, all featuring strong female characters, such as anti-nuclear activist Karen Silkwood (Silkwood (1983), ...
20. Lisa Cholodenko
Director | The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko earned an MFA at Columbia University Film School where she made an award-winning short film Dinner Party (1997) Her feature High Art (1998) won the National Society of Film Critics award for Ally Sheedy's performance and The Waldo Salt Screenwriting award at Sundance. Both "High Art...
21. Susannah Grant
Writer | Erin Brockovich
Susannah Grant was born on January 4, 1963 in New York City, New York, USA as Susannah Rawson Grant. She is a writer and producer, known for Erin Brockovich (2000), The 5th Wave (2016) and Ever After: A Cinderella Story (1998). She has been married to Christopher Henrikson since 1995. They have two...
22. Lina Wertmüller
Writer | Pasqualino Settebellezze
Lina Wertmüller was born on August 14, 1928 in Rome, Lazio, Italy as Arcangela Felice Assunta Wertmüller von Elgg Spañol von Braueich. She is a writer and director, known for Seven Beauties (1975), The Basilisks (1963) and Swept Away (1974). She was previously married to Enrico Job.
24. Kristen Wiig
Actress | Bridesmaids
Kristen Carroll Wiig was born on August 22, 1973 in Canandaigua, New York, to Laurie J. (Johnston), an artist, and Jon J. Wiig, a lake marina manager. She is of Norwegian (from her paternal grandfather), Irish, English, and Scottish descent. The family moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, before ...
25. Annie Mumolo
Actress | Bridesmaids
Currently a member of the famed comedy troupe The Groundlings. Annie performed her first comedy act in the seventh grade. She graduated from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in history. She received theater training at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California before moving to Los Angeles. ...
26. Sarah Polley
Actress | The Sweet Hereafter
Sarah Polley is an actress and director renowned in her native Canada for her political activism. Blessed with an extremely expressive face that enables directors to minimize dialog due to her uncanny ability to suggest a character's thoughts, Polley has become a favorite of critics for her ...
Writer | Cabaret
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Jay Presson Allen was born Jacqueline Presson in San Angelo, Texas on March 3, 1922, the daughter of a department store manager. Educated at Miss Hockaday's School for Young Ladies in Dallas, Presson in her own words received no education at all. At the age of 18, she ...
Director | American Splendor
Shari Springer Berman was born on July 13, 1963 in New York City, New York, USA. She is a director and writer, known for American Splendor (2003), The Nanny Diaries (2007) and Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (1997). She has been married to Robert Pulcini since 1994.
29. Nia Vardalos
Actress | My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Nia Vardalos was born on September 24, 1962 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada as Antonia Eugenia Vardalos. She is an actress and writer, known for My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016) and My Big Fat Greek Life (2003). She was previously married to Ian Gomez.
31. Bridget O'Connor
Writer | Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Bridget was born and raised in Harrow, London. From a large family, she was the second of 5 children. Her parents are Irish, her mother Bridie hails from Limerick and her father Jim is from Cork. As a result, Bridget grew up around Ceilidh bands and dancing. She attended Catholic schools and went ...
32. Bess Meredyth
Writer | A Woman of Affairs
Bess Meredyth was born on February 12, 1890 in Buffalo, New York, USA as Helen Elizabeth MacGlashen. She was a writer and actress, known for A Woman of Affairs (1928), Wonder of Women (1929) and Metropolitan (1935). She was married to Michael Curtiz, Wilfred Lucas and Burton Leslie. She died on ...
34. Frances Goodrich
Writer | Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Frances Goodrich was born on December 21, 1890 in Belleville, New Jersey, USA. She was a writer, known for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), Easter Parade (1948) and In the Good Old Summertime (1949). She was married to Albert Hackett, Henrik Van Loon and Robert Ames. She died on January 29, ...
35. Iris Yamashita
Writer | Letters from Iwo Jima
Born in Missouri, raised in Hawaii and having lived in Guam, California, and Japan at different stages in her life, Iris Yamashita was able to experience a diversity of culture while growing up. She graduated with a B.S. Cum Laude in Bioengineering from UC San Diego and an M.S. in Mechanical ...
36. Joan Harrison
Writer | Rebecca
In 1933, she was hired to be a secretary by Alfred Hitchcock. She soon graduated to reading books and scripts, writing synopses and contributing to scripts. In 1939, she accompanied Hitchcock to Hollywood, working as his assistant and as a writer. In 1941, she was hired as a scriptwriter by MGM. In...
39. Melissa Mathison
Writer | E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Melissa Mathison was born on June 3, 1950 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Melissa Marie Mathison. She was a writer and producer, known for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The BFG (2016) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983). She was married to Harrison Ford. She died on November 4, 2015 in Los ...
41. Naomi Foner
Producer | Running on Empty
Naomi Foner was born on March 15, 1946 in New York City, New York, USA as Naomi Achs. She is a producer and writer, known for Running on Empty (1988), Very Good Girls (2013) and Moon Flower of Flying Tigers. She was previously married to Stephen Gyllenhaal and Eric Foner.
47. Lenore J. Coffee
Writer | Four Daughters
Novelist and screenwriter, educated at Dominican College in San Rafael, California. An avid movie enthusiast in her youth, she came to films after replying to an advertising campaign launched by actress Clara Kimball Young, who was on the lookout for better scripts. Coffee won the competition and ...
Director | Pokot
Agnieszka Holland was born 28 of November 1948 in Warsaw but went to Czechoslovakia to study film directing at FAMU in Prague. She began her film career working in Poland with Krzysztof Zanussi as assistant director, and Andrzej Wajda as her mentor. She wrote several scripts with Wajda before ...
50. Debra Granik
Director | Leave No Trace
Debra Granik (born February 6, 1963) is an American New York City-based independent film and documentary film director and screenwriter. She is most known for 2004's Down to the Bone, which starred Vera Farmiga, 2010's Winter's Bone, which starred Jennifer Lawrence in her breakout performance and ...
51. Dorothy Parker
Writer | A Star Is Born
Dorothy Rothschild was born on August 22, 1893 into a family of comfortable financial means. Raised by her father and Stepmother after her mother's death, she was given an excellent education for the times. Highly intelligent, she pursued a career after her formal education and proved herself to be...
57. Josephine Lovett
Writer | Our Dancing Daughters
Josephine Lovett was born on October 21, 1877 in San Francisco, California, USA as Josephine Shaw. She was a writer and actress, known for Our Dancing Daughters (1928), Annie Laurie (1927) and The Fighting Blade (1923). She was married to John S. Robertson. She died on September 17, 1958 in Rancho ...
59. Elizabeth Hill
Writer | The Citadel
Elizabeth "Betty" Hill acquired her small place in film history when she married twice-divorced director King W Vidor in 1932 and became his script assistant for the next several years, gaining co-writer credits on a few of his major films like the socially-conscious "Our Daily Bread" and "The ...
60. Elaine May
Actress | Small Time Crooks
Elaine May was born on April 21, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA as Elaine Iva Berlin. She is an actress and writer, known for Small Time Crooks (2000), A New Leaf (1971) and Primary Colors (1998). She was previously married to David L. Rubinfine, Sheldon Harnick and Marvin May.
64. Gladys Lehman
Writer | Meet Joe Black
Gladys Lehman was born on January 24, 1892 in Gates, Oregon, USA as Gladys Collins. She was a writer, known for Meet Joe Black (1998), Luxury Liner (1948) and Two Girls and a Sailor (1944). She was married to Benjamin H. Lehman Jr. She died on April 7, 1993 in Newport Beach, California, USA.
66. Lillian Hellman
Writer | The Little Foxes
During the 1930s, it was fashionable to be a part of the radical political movement in Hollywood. Lillian Hellman devoted herself to the cause along with other writers and actors in their zeal to reform. Her independence set her apart from all but a few women of the day, and gave her writing an ...
67. Ruth Gordon
Actress | Rosemary's Baby
When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 ...
68. Betty Comden
Soundtrack | On the Town
Songwriter ("New York, New York", "Lonely Town", "The Party's Over", "Just in Time"), author and actress. educated at New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree. While a student, she acted with the Washington Square Players. She was a member of the Revuers, a night club act which also ...
70. Gloria Katz
Writer | Howard the Duck
Gloria Katz was born on October 25, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, USA as Gloria Pearl Katz. She was a writer and producer, known for Howard the Duck (1986), American Graffiti (1973) and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). She was married to Willard Huyck. She died on November 25, 2018 ...
71. Virginia Kellogg
Writer | White Heat
Virginia Kellogg was born on December 3, 1907 in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was a writer, known for White Heat (1949), Caged (1950) and T-Men (1947). She was married to Albert Mortenseen, Frank Lloyd, Thomas Milton Fine and Walter Cochrane. She died on April 8, 1981 in Los Angeles.
74. Sonya Levien
Writer | Interrupted Melody
Sonya, a graduate with a law degree from New York University, briefly practiced law before becoming a magazine editor and fiction writer. After several of her stories were adapted to the screen, she became a screenwriter. Levien wrote several screenplays for Will Rogers films and for Fox studios ...
75. Bridget Boland
Writer | Anne of the Thousand Days
Bridget Boland was born on March 13, 1913 in St George's Hanover Square, London, England as Bridget Mary Boland. She was a writer, known for Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), The Prisoner (1955) and Laugh It Off (1940). She died on January 19, 1988 in Surrey, England.
76. Fay Kanin
Writer | Teacher's Pet
This screenwriter and playwright began working in Hollywood in the early 1940s, usually in collaboration with her husband, Michael Kanin, and blossomed after his retirement as a writer and producer of some of the small screen's most distinguished TV-movies. Statuesque, articulate, with the air of a ...
Writer | Sunday Bloody Sunday
Penelope Gilliatt was born on March 25, 1932 in London, England as Penelope Ann Douglass Conner. She was a writer, known for Sunday Bloody Sunday (1971), Contrasts (1967) and Centre Play (1973). She was married to John Osborne and Dr. Roger William Gilliatt. She died on May 9, 1993 in London.
79. Irma von Cube
Writer | Johnny Belinda
Irma von Cube was born on December 26, 1899 in Hannover, Germany as Irmgard Kalischer. She was a writer and director, known for Johnny Belinda (1948), Street of Shadows (1937) and Nie wieder Liebe! (1931). She was married to Erwin Kalser. She died on July 25, 1977 in Hollywood, California, USA.
80. Eleanor Perry
Eleanor Perry was born in 1914 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA as Eleanor Irene Rosenfeld. She was a writer and producer, known for ABC Stage 67 (1966), David and Lisa (1962) and The House Without a Christmas Tree (1972). She was married to Frank Perry and Leo G. Bayer. She died on March 14, 1981 in New ...
81. Sally Benson
Writer | Shadow of a Doubt
Sally Benson was born in St. Louis on September 3 1897. Her family moved to New York, where she spent her formative years and was educated at the Horace Mann School. At the age of seventeen, she took her first job working at the National City Bank, 'singing into a dictaphone', as she later put it. ...
82. Marguerite Duras
Writer | Le camion
Ms. Duras was born in southern Vietnam and lost her father at age 4. The family savings of 20 years bought the family a small plot in Cambodia, but everything was lost in a single season's flooding. The disaster killed her mother as a result. After high school in Saigon, Ms. Duras left Indochina to...
83. Helen Deutsch
Writer | Lili
Screenwriter, songwriter ("Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo"), composer, screenwriter and author, educated at Barnard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She headed the Theatre Guild press department in 1937-1938. Joining ASCAP in 1953, her chief musical collaborators included Jay Livingston, Bronislaw Kaper, ...
85. Renée Taylor
Actress | The Nanny
Renée Taylor was born in the Bronx, New York to Frieda (née Silverstein) and Charles Wexler. She worked as a comedian in the early 1960s at the New York City nightclub Bon Soir. Her opening act was a then unknown Barbra Streisand. She earned notice for her portrayal of Eva Braun in Mel Brooks's The...
86. Isobel Lennart
Writer | Funny Girl
Isobel Lennart was born on May 18, 1915 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. She was a writer, known for Funny Girl (1968), Love Me or Leave Me (1955) and Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956). She was married to John Briard Harding. She died on January 25, 1971 in Hemet, California, USA.
88. Carol Sobieski
Writer | Fried Green Tomatoes
Carol Sobieski was born on March 16, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Caroline O'Brien. She was a writer and producer, known for Fried Green Tomatoes (1991), Annie (1982) and The Bourne Identity (1988). She died on November 4, 1990 in Santa Monica, California, USA.
89. Emma Donoghue
Writer | Room
Emma Donoghue is a writer and producer, known for Room (2015), Immaculate Conceptions: Inside a Lesbian Baby Boom (2007) and The Wonder.
96. Dee Rees
Director | Mudbound
Writer/Director Dee Rees is an alumna of New York University's graduate film program and a Sundance Screenwriting & Directing Lab Fellow.
In 2018, Dee became the first Black woman nominated for an Oscar in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for her highly-acclaimed film Mudbound (2017). The film, ...
97. Emily V. Gordon
Writer | The Big Sick
Emily V Gordon started out as a masters-level couples and family therapist, practicing for about six years before changing careers. She moved on to booking stand up comedy for live audiences and TV, which led to a career as a writer and producer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Kumail ...
98. Greta Gerwig
Writer | Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter, and director. She has collaborated with Noah Baumbach on several films, including Greenberg (2010), Frances Ha (2012), for which she earned a Golden Globe nomination, and Mistress America (2015). Gerwig made her solo directorial debut ...