Friday, April 17, 2009

Out in Film: Armistead Maupin

Idol worship: Armistead Maupin, writer/producer.

- His most famous work, the beloved Tales of the City series, began as a newspaper serial in San Francisco. The stories were collected and published as novels, beginning with Tales of the City in 1978 and followed by More Tales of the City, Further Tales of the City, Babycakes and Significant Others. Two additional volumes, Sure of You and Michael Tolliver Lives, were original novels.

- He adapted the first three books into popular and Emmy Award nominated television mini-series starring Olympia Dukakis, Laura Linney and Billy Campbell.

- His other novels include Maybe the Moon and The Night Listener. The former was inspired by his friendship with actress Tamara De Treaux, best known for playing E.T. in the Steven Spielberg film. He adapted the latter (based on his real-life experiences surrounding the Anthony Godby Johnson hoax) into a movie starring Robin Williams as the character based on himself.

- Additionally, he wrote the narration for the landmark documentary The Celluloid Closet, based on the book by Vito Russo.

- Currently, a stage musical version of Tales of the City is in the works, as well as an eighth volume of Tales.

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