Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthMarch 4, 1948
SpouseHelen Knode
FactIn an E-pinion article on Empire Online, James Ellroy listed these as his Top 10 favorite films: Vertigo (1958), The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Prowler (1951), The Lineup (1958), The Big Knife (1955), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Double Indemnity (1944), Out of the Past (1947), 711 Ocean Drive (1950).

James Ellroy is an American crime fiction writer and essayist. His novels include The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz, American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood’s a Rover. Ellroy has also written several non-fiction books, including My Dark Places and The Hilliker Curse.

Born in Los Angeles, California, on March 4, 1948, James Ellroy was the only child of Armand Ellroy and Geneva Odelia Ellroy. His father was a car salesman and his mother was a homemaker. When Ellroy was ten years old, his mother was murdered by an unknown assailant. This event had a profound effect on him and would later inspire him to write about crime and violence in his novels.

Ellroy attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles and then Los Angeles Valley College. He dropped out of college after one semester and began working a variety of odd jobs. He also began writing fiction, but it would be many years before he would achieve success as a writer.

In the 1980s, Ellroy began writing a series of crime novels set in the 1940s and 1950s. These novels, known as the “L.A. Quartet,” included The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz. These novels were critical and commercial successes, and Ellroy became one of the most acclaimed crime writers of his generation.

In the 1990s, Ellroy continued his exploration of American history with a trilogy of novels set in the 1960s and 1970s. These novels, known as the “Underworld USA Trilogy,” included American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood’s a Rover. These novels were also critical and commercial successes, cementing Ellroy’s reputation as one of the greatest crime writers of all time.

Ellroy has been married three times. His first marriage, to Helen Knode, ended in divorce. His second marriage, to Barbara Schatz, also ended in divorce. He is currently married to Julie Luster. He has no children.

Ellroy is 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds. He has dark hair and blue eyes.

General Info

Full NameJames Ellroy
Date Of BirthMarch 4, 1948
Height1.9 m
ProfessionScreenwriter, Actor, Essayist, Crime writer
EducationFairfax High School


SpouseHelen Knode
ParentsGeneva Odelia Hilliker Ellroy, Armand Ellroy


AwardsEdgar Grand Master Award
NominationsEdgar Award for Best Paperback Original, Shamus Award for Best Original P.I. Paperback
MoviesRampart, Street Kings, The Black Dahlia, Dark Blue, Brown's Requiem, L.A. Confidential, Cop, James Ellroy: American Dog, White Jazz
TV ShowsThe Lead Sheet

Social profile links


1[on Zodiac (2007)] One of the half-dozen greatest American crime films.
2My novel The Black Dahlia (2006) will be poorly filmed in March of next year by overrated auteur Brian De Palma. Fatuously good-looking Josh Hartnett and Scarlett Johansson will weakly star in this vehicle. The production designer is Dante Ferretti who production designed most of the great Scor-sleazy movies, so it will look very good and it will be shot by the esteemed Vilmos Zsigmond. I predict an intriguing flop...that will nevertheless sell me a shitload of books.
3[on Ludwig van Beethoven] The greatest artist ever given to earth by God.
4I am a master of fiction. I am also the greatest crime writer who ever lived. I am to the crime novel in specific what Leo Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Ludwig van Beethoven is to music.
5I'm happy for the money. I'm happy for the exposure... Every once in a while there's lightning in a bottle like with 'L.A. Confidential (1997)' so we'll see what happens with The Black Dahlia (2006). Even bad movies create substantial readership for your books.


1A crime novelist. Fellow crime novelist Robert Crais must be a fan of Ellroy because he name-checks him in his novel, The Sentry.
2During a 2005 book tour, Ellroy predicted that the film adaptation of his novel, The Black Dahlia, would be "an intriguing flop". The film was a box office failure.
3In an article for the UK magazine Neon, Ellroy listed these as his ten favorite crime movies: L.A. Confidential (1997), The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Prowler (1951), Crime Wave (1954), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), The Killing (1956), Plunder Road (1957), The Lineup (1958), 711 Ocean Drive (1950), Vertigo (1958).
4In an E-pinion article on Empire Online, James Ellroy listed these as his Top 10 favorite films: Vertigo (1958), The Godfather: Part II (1974), The Prowler (1951), The Lineup (1958), The Big Knife (1955), Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Double Indemnity (1944), Out of the Past (1947), 711 Ocean Drive (1950).
5Was asked by his editor to shorten his novel "White Jazz" from 900 pages to 350. Rather than removing sub-plots, Ellroy achieved this by eliminating verbs, creating a unique style of prose.
6Wrote several scripts that never got made. Among others: White Heat, the remake of Raoul Walsh's classic; 77, a tough police drama set in South Central dealing with the SLA shootout with SWAT in the seventies; White Jazz, an adaptation of his own crime novel; and Mr. Smith, a film noir inspired by the real-life activities of LAPD firearms expert Richard Smith.
7His first unpublished novel was titled "L.A. Death Trap", which was later revised to give the first drafts of "Blood on the Moon", "Because the Night" and "Suicide Hill", three novels also known as the Lloyd Hopkins trilogy.
8Is a huge supporter of the Los Angeles Police Department. He also has several friends on the force, like robbery-homicide Detective Rick Jackson and L.A. County Sheriff William Stoner.
9Is a good friend of crime novelist Edward Bunker.
10Is an avid fan of ex-LAPD officer turned novelist Joseph Wambaugh.
11Prior to his success, he used to work as a golf caddy at the Bel Air Country Club.
12"The Black Dahlia" (1987) was his seventh novel. It was based on the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short. The same case was also the basis for John Gregory Dunne's 1977 novel and later movie True Confessions (1981) with Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall ). Black Dahlia was the first novel in a series to become known as "The L.A. Quartet." "L.A. Confidential," "White Jazz," and "The Big Nowhere" are the other novels in the quartet.
13The brutal murder of his mother, Jean Ellroy, in 1958, was the basis of his 1996 memoir "My Dark Places".




GemstoneTV Series pre-production
Rampart2011written by
Sunfax Territory2009Short novel
Street Kings2008screenplay / story
The Black Dahlia2006novel
James Ellroy Uncensored2005Documentary short
L.A. Confidential2003TV Movie novel
L.A. Sheriff's Homicide2003TV Movie
Dark Blue2002story
Stay Clean2002Short novel "Killer on the Road"
Brown's Requiem1998novel "Brown's Requiem"
L.A. Confidential1997novel "L.A. Confidential"
Fallen Angels1993TV Series story - 1 episode
Cop1988novel "Blood on the Moon"


Bazaar Bizarre2004Documentary executive producer


Stay Clean2002ShortRight
Wonder Boys2000Wordfest Party Guest


L.A. Confidential: Off the Record...1998Video documentary short special thanks


Página 22010-2015TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
La grande librairie2010-2015TV SeriesHimself
Le grand journal de Canal+2010-2015TV Series documentaryHimself
Àrtic2015TV SeriesHimself
Los Angeles: Cité du Film Noir2015TV Movie documentaryHimself
Late Night with Seth Meyers2014TV SeriesHimself
A Night at the Movies: Cops & Robbers and Crime Writers2013TV Special documentaryHimself - Interviewee
The A to Z of Crime2011TV Series documentaryHimself
James Ellroy's L.A.: City of Demons2011TV Series documentaryHimself / Himself - Host
Café Picouly2011TV SeriesHimself
The Cost of Living: Creating the Prowler2011Video shortHimself
Last Call with Carson Daly2010TV SeriesHimself
Tavis Smiley2010TV SeriesHimself
Ànima2010TV SeriesHimself
Continuarà...2010TV SeriesHimself
Efter Tio2010TV SeriesHimself
Strada2010TV SeriesHimself
Che tempo che fa2010TV SeriesHimself
Allez à L.A.!2008TV Series documentaryHimself
Biography2008TV Series documentaryHimself
Mobsters2008TV SeriesHimself - Author, 'L.A. Confidential'
A True Ensemble: The Cast of L.A. Confidential2008Video documentary shortHimself
Sunlight and Shadow: The Visual Style of 'L.A. Confidential'2008Video documentary shortHimself
Whatever You Desire: Making 'L.A. Confidential'2008Video documentary shortHimself
L.A. Confidential: From Book to Screen2008Video documentary shortHimself
Durch die Nacht mit...2008TV Series documentaryHimself
Murder by the Book2006TV Series documentaryHimself
James Ellroy: American Dog2006Video documentaryHimself
Breakfast with the Arts2006TV SeriesHimself
Shadows of Suspense2006Video documentary shortHimself
Rankin on the Staircase2005TV Movie documentary
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson2005TV SeriesHimself
James Ellroy Uncensored2005Documentary shortHimself
Just the Facts2004TV Movie documentaryHimself - Author 'L.A. Confindetial'
The O'Reilly Factor2004TV SeriesHimself
Late Night with Conan O'Brien1995-2004TV SeriesHimself
Bazaar Bizarre2004DocumentaryHimself, author
Das Bus2003DocumentaryHimself
Besuch bei James Ellroy2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
James Ellroy's Feast of Death2001DocumentaryHimself
Nulle part ailleurs1995-2001TV SeriesHimself
Un siècle d'écrivains2000TV Series documentaryHimself
L.A. Confidential: Off the Record...1998Video documentary shortHimself - Novelist
James Ellroy: Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction1998DocumentaryHimself
Le cercle de minuit1997TV SeriesHimself
E! True Hollywood Story1997TV Series documentaryHimself
Shotgun Freeway: Drives Through Lost L.A.1995DocumentaryHimself


Won Awards

1998USC Scripter AwardUSC Scripter AwardL.A. Confidential (1997)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Write A Comment

Pin It