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Mario puzo

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  • Mario puzo


    Born:Mario Gianluigi Puzo
    October 15, 1920
    Manhattan, New York
    Died: July 2, 1999 (aged 78)
    Bay Shore, New York
    Occupation:novelist, screenwriter, Civil servant, Railroad switchboard attendant
    Writing period: 1955 - 1999
    Genres: Crime , fiction


    Spouse: Lina Broske (1946-1978)
    Children:Anthony Puzo, works for father.
    Joseph Puzo.
    Dorothy Antoinette Puzo, directed "Cold Steel" (1987), starring Sharon Stone.
    Virginia Erika Puzo, works for her father.
    Eugene Puzo, gardener for father; also helps brother Anthony manage father's affairs.
    Father: Antonio Puzo who was a railroad laborer, married late; became increasingly erratic; finally diagnosed as schizophrenic and institutionalized.
    Mother: Maria Puzo. Puzo claims she was the model for Don Corleone in "The Godfather"; Puzo's family immigrated from the countryside near Naples.
    Sister: Evelyn Murphy. survived him .
    Brother: Anthony Cleri. survived him


    Puzo was born in a poor family of Neapolitan immigrants living in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. Many of his books draw heavily on this heritage. After graduating from the City College of New York, he joined the United States Army Air Forces in World War II. Due to his poor eyesight, the military did not let him undertake combat duties but made him a public relations officer stationed in Germany. After the war, he wrote his first book, The Dark Arena, which was published in 1955

    Angered that his first two critically-acclaimed novels had failed commercially, Mario Puzo managed to get a $5K advance from G.P. Putnam's Sons for his proposed Mafia novel and set his sights on nothing short of a best-seller, writing "The Godfather" in a rage to be accepted. Though he was nearly 50 at the time of its publication, Puzo put poverty behind him forever, subsequently pulling down tons of money as an Oscar-winning screenwriter and novelist (the paperback rights to "Fools Die" sold for an astonishing $2.5 million in 1978).

    Along with director Francis Ford Coppola, Puzo crafted the screenplays for all three "Godfather" movies, sharing Best Screenplay Oscars with the director for both "The Godfather" (1972) and "The Godfather, Part II" (1974). He collaborated on the scripts for the grandly entertaining "Superman" (1978) and its nearly as successful sequel "Superman II" (1980) before demanding $1 million to write a screenplay for which he had no interest, "The Cotton Club" (1984). Puzo got his money and his credit, though what finally ended up on screen bore little resemblance to what he had written. He also entrusted rogue director Michael Cimino with the film adaptation of his novel "The Sicilian" (1987), and the resultant bomb could not overcome Cimino's lack of humor or Christopher Lambert's wooden performance.

    Puzo nearly died of a heart attack in Las Vegas, NV in 1991 but bounced back from quadruple-bypass surgery to write his comeback novel "The Last Don" (companion Carol Gino made suggestions and put it all on the word processor). CBS outbid Coppola, paying $2.1 million, and turned it into the miniseries "Mario Puzo's 'The Last Don'" (1997). Before that, NBC had aired the miniseries "Mario Puzo's 'The Fortunate Pilgrim'" (1988), based on his 1964 novel and starring Sophia Loren, and he had appeared in the HBO documentary, "The Godfather Family: A Look Inside" (1990), about the making of the movies


    Significant Others:

    Companion: Carol Gino. born c. 1941; met while Gino was caring for wife Erika through the cancer that would kill her; companion since 1979


    Commerce High School, New York, New York
    New School for Social Research, New York, New York


    Carnival - ( Screenplay / / Announced / )
    Omerta - ( Source Material / / Announced / )
    Christopher Columbus: the Discovery - ( Screenplay / 1992 / Released / Scanbox Denmark )
    Christopher Columbus: the Discovery - ( From Story / 1992 / Released / Scanbox Denmark )
    The Godfather, Part III - ( Screenplay / 1990 / Released / UIP The Film Consortium )
    The Sicilian - ( Source Material (from novel) / 1987 / Released / Concorde Film )
    The Cotton Club - ( From Story / 1984 / Released / K-Tel Video )
    Superman II - ( Screenplay / 1981 / Released / )
    Superman II - ( From Story / 1981 / Released / )
    A Time to Die - ( From Story / 1979 / Released / )
    Superman - ( Screenplay / 1978 / Released / )
    Superman - ( From Story / 1978 / Released / )
    Earthquake - ( Screenplay / 1974 / Released / )
    The Godfather, Part II - ( Screenplay / 1974 / Released / )
    The Godfather, Part II - ( Source Material (from novel) / 1974 / Released / )
    The Godfather - ( Screenplay / 1972 / Released / )
    The Godfather - ( Source Material (from novel) / 1972 / Released / )
    TV Credits:

    Mario Puzo's The Last Don II ( 1998 / Released ): Characters as Source Material
    Mario Puzo's The Last Don ( 1997 / Released ): Source Material (from novel)
    The Godfather Family: A Look Inside ( 1990 / Released ): Actor
    Mario Puzo's The Fortunate Pilgrim ( 1988 / Released ): Book as Source Material


    1955 Published first novel "Dark Arena", based on his World War II experiences in Europe
    1964 Second novel, "The Fortunate Pilgrim", appeared; considered by Puzo his finest work
    1969 Came back from European vacation to find that the bidding for "The Godfather" paperback rights had reached $415,000
    1972 Feature film version of "The Godfather" released; would win Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando) and Best Screenplay (for Puzo and director Francis Ford Coppola)
    1974 Shared a second Best Screenplay Oscar with Francis Ford Coppala for "The Godfather, Part II"
    1978 Collaborated with Robert Benton, David Newman and Leslie Newman to write "Superman"; same team would script "Superman II" (1980)
    1978 Paperback rights to "Fools Die" sold for then-astonishing $2.5 million
    1984 Received $1 million to write a screenplay for "The Cotton Club"
    1987 Entrusted Michael Cimino to direct his film adaptation of his novel "The Sicilian"; it bombed egregiously
    1988 Miniseries "Marion Puzo's the Fortunate Pilgrim", based on his 1964 novel, appeared on NBC
    1990 Co-wrote "The Godfather, Part III", considered the weakest of the three films
    1991 Nearly died of a heart attack in Las Vegas, NV; underwent quadruple-bypass surgery at Cedars-Sinai in L.A.
    1996 Random House published comeback novel "The Last Don"
    1997 1964 novel "The Fortunate Pilgrim" re-released by Random House
    1997 CBS aired miniseries version of "The Last Don"; network paid $2.1 million, outbidding Coppola for rights
    Raised in Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City; one of seven children
    Received $1.3 million advance for yet another Mafia novel
    Received $5K advance from Putnam for proposed Mafia novel
    Served in Army during World War II; assigned to the military government of captured French towns; though never firing a shot, earned five battlefield stars for coming under fire
    Worked as a government clerk
    Worked as a switchboard attendant for NY Central Railroad
    Wrote fiction and non-fiction for magazines like TRUE ACTION and MALE


    Quotes By: Mario Puzo

    "He was a degenerate gambler. That is, a man who gambled simply to gamble and must lose. As a hero who goes to war must die. Show me a gambler and I'll show you a loser, show me a hero and I'll show you a corpse."

    "A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."

    "Like many businessmen of genius he learned that free competition was wasteful, monopoly efficient. And so he simply set about achieving that efficient monopoly."

    "What we think of as our sensitivity is only the higher evolution of terror in a poor dumb beast. We suffer for nothing. Our own death wish is our only real tragedy."


    Make love ...not war
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