Frank R. Pierson

Active - 1965 - 2005  |   Born - May 12, 1925   |   Died - Jul 1, 2012   |   Genres - Drama, Western

Share on

Biography by Sandra Brennan

Distinguished screenwriter and noted director Frank Pierson earned an Oscar nomination for his debut screenplay, Cat Ballou, in 1965 and a decade later won an Oscar for the screenplay for Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon. In between the two, Pierson wrote the acclaimed script for Cool Hand Luke (1967). Before entering the film industry, the Harvard-educated Pierson was a correspondent for Time magazine. He then became a story editor and during the early '60s produced and directed many episodes of the Have Gun Will Travel television series. In addition, Pierson also wrote the screenplays for several other series. He directed his first feature film, The Looking Glass War, in 1969. Other features he directed include the 1976 version of A Star Is Born and King of the Gypsies (1978). By the '90s, Pierson focused most of his energy writing teleplays and directing television movies, including the well-wrought Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee (1994). In his final years, he served as one of the consulting producers on the blockbuster cable series Mad Men.

Movie Highlights

See Full Filmography