Essayistic Cinemax

GARRY TRUDEAU was born in New York City in 1948, and was raised in Saranac Lake, New York. He attended Yale University, where he received his B.A. and an M.F.A. in graphic design.

Doonesbury was launched in 1970, and now appears in nearly 1400 daily and Sunday newspaper clients in the U.S. and abroad. His work has been collected in 60 hardcover, trade paperback and mass-market editions, which have cumulatively sold over 7 million copies worldwide. In 1975, Trudeau became the first comic strip artist ever to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1989, 2004 and 2005.

Working with John and Faith Hubley, Trudeau wrote and co-directed the animated film, "A Doonesbury Special," for NBC-TV in 1977. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and received the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Collaborating with composer Elizabeth Swados in 1983, Trudeau wrote the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical, Doonesbury, for which he was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards. A cast album of the show, recorded for MCA, received a Grammy nomination. Trudeau again collaborated with Swados in 1984, this time on "Rap Master Ronnie," a satirical revue about the Reagan Administration that opened off-Broadway at the Village Gate. Over the next four years the show was continuously updated for numerous productions around the country. A filmed version of "Rap Master Ronnie," featuring Jim Morris, the Smothers Brothers, and Carol Kane was broadcast on Cinemax in 1988.

In 1988, Trudeau wrote and co-produced, along with director Robert Altman, HBO's critically acclaimed "Tanner '88," a satiric look at that year's presidential election campaign. The show won several awards both in the U.S. and abroad, including the gold medal for Best Television Series at the Cannes Television Festival, and Best Imported Program from the British Broadcasting Press Guild. "Tanner '88" also earned an Emmy - as well as four ACE award nominations. In 2004, he reunited with Altman to write and co-produce a sequel series, "Tanner on Tanner", for the Sundance Channel.

In February 2000, Trudeau, working with Dotcomix, launched Duke2000, a presidential campaign and website featuring a real-time 3-D streaming- animation character. Nearly 30 campaign videos were created for the site, and Ambassador Duke was interviewed live by satellite on "Larry King Live," "Today," "The Charlie Rose Show" and 60 other local TV news programs.

In 2013 he created, produced and wrote “Alpha House,” a political sitcom about four Republican senators sharing a house in Washington, D.C. The first streaming-only production of Amazon Studios, it stars John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, Wanda Sykes and Cynthia Nixon. The show was recently picked up for a second season.

Trudeau has contributed articles to publications such as Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, The New Yorker, New York, and The Washington Post. For five years he was an occasional columnist for The New York Times op-ed page, and was later a contributing essayist for Time Magazine. He has received honorary degrees from Yale, Colgate, Williams, Duke and 26 other universities and colleges, and has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

In recognition of his work on wounded warriors, Trudeau has been presented with the Commander's Award for Public Service by the Department of Army, the Commander's Award from Disabled American Veterans, the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts from Vietnam Veterans of America, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a special citation from the Vet Centers. From 2005 to 2014 his website hosted The Sandbox, a milblog posting over 800 essays by deployed soldiers, returned vets, caregivers and spouses.

Trudeau lives in New York City with his wife, Jane Pauley. They have three grown children.

On February 24, 2005, Toni Morrison was having lunch in my East Village kitchen. The conversation turned to "divas," as Toni described the extraordinarily talented performers she had auditioned for her opera, Margaret Garner. "Timothy, we should do a portrait book on these women. "Call it . . . Black Divas."

It got me thinking about all the African Americans I knew and had photographed. I made a list: Toni of course, David Hammons, Bill T. Jones, and Colin Powell quickly came to mind.

Eventually, I envisioned a more broad-based project than opera stars and called my friend Elvis Mitchell for a lunch. By dessert we had 175 names on napkins, and the idea had morphed into a book, film, and portrait exhibition. "Let's call it 'The Black List,'" Elvis said. "We need to make it a good thing to be on 'The Black List.'"

I knew that the trick was to get a few great names onboard, and then others would follow. I called Toni Morrison and Thelma Golden. They both said yes, and we were on our way.

Thousands of people belong in The Black List Project. Sometimes our deadline and the subject's availability were impossible to coordinate. Yes, "so and so" belongs in here. We agree!
                                                      — Timothy Greenfield-Sanders


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *