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Overview for Joe Eszterhas
Joe Eszterhas

Joe Eszterhas

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: November 23, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Hungary Profession: Writer ...
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NOTES

Eszterhas has earned nearly as much notoriety for his personal life as for his screenwriting. He introduced close friend and "Sliver" co-producer Bill MacDonald to star Sharon Stone in February 1993. The pair embarked on a whirlwind affair which broke up MacDonald's five-month-old marriage to Naomi Baka. MacDonald and Stone were engaged by March. (The releationship did not last however.) Joe and Gerri Eszterhas took the still distraught Baka along on their family vacation to Hawaii. Over the course of the outing, Joe and Naomi fell in love but did not act on their passion until after Joe had made a painful declaration to his wife and children. He then went to Naomi's adjoining room at the Four Seasons, announced his love and informed her that they were leaving. The pair moved across the island to the Ritz Carlton and their romance bloomed. They would eventually marry and have two children of their own.

Eszterhas was paid $2.4 million for the screenplay for the murder mystery "Jade" in the fall of 1992. That same season, he received a $1.5 million advance to begin writing "Showgirls".

"The quality most writers exhibit toward another is jealousy....I have heard from no writers congratulating me, not one. I have not heard from the Writers Guild...and I make a lot of money for them. They have my address."---Eszterhas quoted in "Man Behind Screenplay Calling Shots" by Tom Green, USA Today, June 1, 1994.

"I think we would see better movies--and God, we see a lot of s---ty movies these days--if writers would stand up for what they've written and if directors would stand up for what they believe in with studio heads and the Michael Eisners of the world." --Joe Eszterhas quoted in "Guts", an interview/profile in Entertainment Weekly, August 12, 1994.

"I like putting women in a situation where they don't take any s---, or they try not to. I've always thought the key to writing interesting women on screen is to treat them simply as human beings, make no differentiation in terms of what they want, the respect they want, the fact they fight for things, that they hurt, they cry, they bleed. Calling me a misogynist is not a fair overview of what I've done. I think I've gotten some of the best actresses of my generation into pictures, between Jessie [Jessica Lange] and [Glenn] Close and [Debra] Winger. These women are very attuned to who they are, to what they represent." --Joe Eszterhas quoted in "Guts", an interview/profile in Entertainment Weekly, August 12, 1994.

"I work in the Hollywood mainstream. Almost all of my pictures have been with the studios. . . . It may be a rarity for someone to speak up to protect his work. But I speak up within the confines of doing commerical, accessible work. My defiance is to do my own vision." --Eszterhas quoted in "Man Behind Screenplay Calling Shots" by Tom Green, USA Today, June 1, 1994.

After being a smoker for years, Eszterhas began an anti-smoking campaign aimed at stopping depictions in film. Eszterhas was also diagnosed with throat cancer. He had a New York Times op-ed piece on the subject in August of 2002.

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