Kenneth Lonergan

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Kenneth Lonergan
Born (1962-10-16) October 16, 1962 (age 55)
New York City, New York
Occupation Playwright, screenwriter, director
Alma mater Wesleyan University
New York University (NYU)
Notable works You Can Count on Me (2000)
Gangs of New York (2002)
Notable awards NSFC – Best Screenplay
NYFCC – Best Screenplay
2000 You Can Count on Me
Spouse J. Smith-Cameron (2000—present)
Children 1

Kenneth Lonergan (born October 16, 1962) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director.

Background and education

Lonergan was born in the Bronx, New York City, New York. His mother is Jewish and his father is of Irish descent.[1] Lonergan began writing in high school at the Walden School (a now defunct, highly progressive private school in Manhattan with a strong drama program).

His first play, The Rennings Children, was chosen for the Stephen Sondheim founded Young Playwrights Inc. Young Playwright's Festival in 1982 while he was still an undergraduate. Lonergan matriculated at Wesleyan University where he trained as a playwright and director;[2] he would go on to graduate at the NYU Playwriting Program.

Government and commercial work

After graduating from NYU, Lonergan worked as a speechwriter for the Environmental Protection Agency. He also wrote industrial shows—long-play commercials—for clients such as Weight Watchers[3] and Fujifilm.



Lonergan's first theatrical success came with the play This is Our Youth (1996); it was followed by The Waverley Gallery (1999), based on his grandmother's Greenwich Village Gallery, and later Lobby Hero (2002). His play, The Starry Messenger premiered Off-Broadway in 2009 and starred his wife, J. Smith-Cameron and Matthew Broderick.[4]


Lonergan's film career began with his screenplay for the gangland comedy Analyze This (1999). He was subsequently offered a job writing The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000).

Lonergan directed his own screenplay for You Can Count on Me (2000); the film, which was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, went on to be nominated for and receive numerous writing awards.[5] He contributed to the screenplay for Gangs of New York (2002). In 2005, filming took place for his second film as writer/director, Margaret, starring Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Matthew Broderick, J. Smith-Cameron. The film spent over five years in post-production, with Lonergan, the producers and various editors unable to agree on its final cut, resulting in multiple legal disputes. It was finally released in 2011.[1]



  • This is Our Youth
    • Nominated for Drama Desk Award for Best Play.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Brody, Richard (2012-03-15). "Kenneth Lonergan". The New Yorker. 
  2. Historical Dictionary of Contemporary American Theater, 1930-2010 - James Fisher - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  3. Stephen Farber, "A Playwright in Pottsylvania," The Los Angeles Times, July 2, 2000.
  4. Hernandez, Ernio. Cameron, Culkin, Hadary and More Will Join Cast of Starry Messenger' " (, September 18, 2009
  5. "Kenneth Lonergan Awards" The New York Times

External links