Known for movies

Short Info

Date Of BirthNovember 23, 1944
SpouseStephanie Toback
FactWrote uncredited revisions to the script for Warren Beatty's political comedy Bulworth (1998).

James Toback is an American screenwriter, director, and producer. He was born in New York City on November 23, 1944, to a wealthy Jewish family. His father, Irwin, was a stockbroker and his mother, Selma, was a homemaker. Toback has two older sisters, Barbara and Beverly. He was educated at the prestigious Horace Mann School in New York City. Toback’s first job was as a journalist for The New York Times. He later worked as a freelance writer for Esquire magazine.

Toback’s first screenplay was for the film The Gambler (1974), which starred James Caan. The film was a critical and commercial success. Toback’s next screenplay was for the film Bugsy (1991), which starred Warren Beatty. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Toback’s other screenplays include The Pick-up Artist (1987) and Two Girls and a Guy (1997). Toback has also directed several films, including Fingers (1978), Love and Money (1982), The Pick-up Artist (1987), Two Girls and a Guy (1997), and Black and White (1998).

Toback’s films have often been controversial, but have also received critical acclaim. Toback has been married three times. His first wife was the actress Stella Stevens. His second wife was the model and actress Taryn Power. Toback has two daughters from his first marriage, Rachel and Elizabeth. ..

General Info

Full NameJames Toback
Date Of BirthNovember 23, 1944
ProfessionScreenwriter, Film producer, Film director, Actor
EducationHarvard University


SpouseStephanie Toback
ChildrenAndre Toback
ParentsIrwin Lionel Toback, Selma Judith Levy


AwardsUn Certain Regard Knockout Prize
NominationsAcademy Award for Best Original Screenplay, Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay - Motion Picture, Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay, Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary, National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Screenplay, National Society of Film C...
MoviesSeduced and Abandoned, The Pick-up Artist, Two Girls and a Guy, When Will I Be Loved, Fingers, Harvard Man, Tyson, Bugsy, The Gambler, Black and White, The Beat That My Heart Skipped, The Big Bang, Love and Money, Exposed, Giving It Up, Alice, Jim Brown: All-American

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1Was an uncredited script doctor on Disclosure (1994).
2Wrote uncredited revisions to the script for Beyond the Sea (2004) at a fee of $150,000 per week, when Barry Levinson was attached to direct it.
3Was an uncredited script doctor on Crimson Tide (1995).
4Wrote uncredited revisions to the script for Warren Beatty's political comedy Bulworth (1998).
5Was an uncredited script doctor on Bad Boys (1995).
6Retrospective at the Oldenburg Film Festival, Germany. [2008]
7Was a regular dancer on Alan Freed's Rock 'n' Roll show at the age of 14.
8Was roommates with Jim Brown for about a year and a half before casting him in Fingers (1978).
9Toback wrote three movies with a subplot of point-shaving in collegiate basketball: The Gambler (1974), Black & White (1999) and Harvard Man (2001).
10Born on exactly the same day as Joe Eszterhas.
11He had such a reputation as a ladies man, that a 1989 Spy magazine article detailed some of his conquests.
12Taught writing at the City College of New York (CCNY) in the early 1970s. The James Caan character in The Gambler (1974) was also a college teacher, a professor of English literature at New York University, though scenes from the movie were filmed at CCNY (now known as City University of New York).
13Toback's first successful screenplay, The Gambler (1974) is substantially autobiographical. For a long time, he was a compulsive gambler, albeit from a well-heeled New York garment-district family
14Graduated from Harvard University in 1966. In interviews, he always refers to the school as "Harvard College", as Harvard alumni who were undergraduates often do to distinguish themselves from alumni who received only their graduate degrees from Harvard.
15Is still a compulsive gambler. In an interview from Interview magazine, Toback claims he took the most hits of LSD ever recorded.




The Private Life of a Modern Woman2018filming
The Gambler2014/IIIwriter: based upon the film written by
Seduced and Abandoned2013Documentary
Tyson2008Documentary writer
The Beat That My Heart Skipped2005earlier screenplay: d'après le film "Fingers" écrit et réalisé par
When Will I Be Loved2004written by
Harvard Man2001written by
Black & White1999/Iwritten by
Two Girls and a Guy1997written by
Bugsy1991written by
Bugsy: The Dark Passion of an American Dreamer1991TV Movie documentary
The Big Bang1989Documentary writer
The Pick-up Artist1987written by
Love & Money1982
The Gambler1974written by


The Private Life of a Modern Woman2018filming
Seduced and Abandoned2013Documentary
When Will I Be Loved2004
Harvard Man2001
Black & White1999/I
Two Girls and a Guy1997
The Big Bang1989Documentary
The Pick-up Artist1987
Love & Money1982


Mississippi Grind2015Tony Roundtree
River of Fundament2014Wake Guest
When Will I Be Loved2004Professor Hassan Al-Ibrahim Ben Rabinowitz
Death of a Dynasty2003Lyor Cohen
Black & White1999/IArnie Tishman
Giving It Up1999Dr. Hubbins
Bugsy1991Gus Greenbaum
Exposed1983Leo Boscovitch


The Gambler2014/IIIexecutive producer
Bul*$h!t Walks2014Short executive producer
Tyson2008Documentary producer
Love & Money1982producer


Tower Heist2011special thanks


What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael2017Documentary post-productionHimself
Charlie Rose1998-2013TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
A Fuller Life2013DocumentaryHimself - Reader (segment "Chaos & Bewilderment")
At the Movies2013TV SeriesHimself
Boxing at the Movies: Kings of the Ring2013DocumentaryHimself - Director
Good Day L.A.2009TV SeriesHimself
The Oprah Winfrey Show2009TV SeriesHimself
Media City2009TV SeriesHimself
Never Down2007Himself
Pierre Rissient: Man of Cinema2007DocumentaryHimself
Automatic Thirteen2007ShortHimself
The Greatest Fashion Icons in Film2007TV Movie documentaryHimself
Biography2007TV Series documentaryHimself - Director, 'The Pick-Up Artist'
The Road to Damascus: The Reinvention of Bugsy Siegel2006Video documentaryHimself
The Outsider2005DocumentaryHimself
Jim Brown: All American2002TV Movie documentaryHimself (Actor, Director)
Keeping It Real: James Toback in Black and White2000Video documentaryHimself
Bugsy: The Dark Passion of an American Dreamer1991TV Movie documentaryHost
The Big Bang1989DocumentaryInterviewer / Narrataor
Will the Real Norman Mailer Please Stand Up?1968DocumentaryHimself


Won Awards

2008Regard Knockout AwardCannes Film FestivalTyson (2008)
2008German Independence Honorary AwardOldenburg Film Festival
1991LAFCA AwardLos Angeles Film Critics Association AwardsBest ScreenplayBugsy (1991)

Nominated Awards

2010Black ReelBlack Reel AwardsBest DocumentaryTyson (2008)
2010Cinema Eye Audience Choice PrizeCinema Eye Honors Awards, USTyson (2008)
2009Gotham Independent Film AwardGotham AwardsBest DocumentaryTyson (2008)
2008Un Certain Regard AwardCannes Film FestivalTyson (2008)
1992OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the ScreenBugsy (1991)
1992Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Screenplay - Motion PictureBugsy (1991)
1992CFCA AwardChicago Film Critics Association AwardsBest ScreenplayBugsy (1991)
1992WGA Award (Screen)Writers Guild of America, USABest Screenplay Written Directly for the ScreenBugsy (1991)
1990Critics AwardDeauville Film FestivalThe Big Bang (1989)

2nd Place Awards

1992NSFC AwardNational Society of Film Critics Awards, USABest ScreenplayBugsy (1991)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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