Paul Mazursky Named Recipient of Writers Guild's Highest Honor

11:04 AM PST 01/07/2014 by Matt Patches
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The writer of Oscar-nominated screenplays for "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice," "An Unmarried Woman" and "Enemies: A Love Story" will receive the Screen Laurel Award on Feb. 1 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles.

With four Academy Award nominations under his belt, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice screenwriter Paul Mazursky is set to receive the Writers Guild of America, West's highest honor. On Tuesday, the WGAW announced that this year's Screen Laurel Award will be presented to Mazursky, among other honorees, at the 2014 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony to be held on Saturday, Feb. 1, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.

“Paul Mazursky’s talents as an actor (he was in Stanley Kubrick’s first film) and filmmaker (one of the signature directors of the 1970s) should not be allowed to obscure a central fact: he is among our greatest living screenwriters,” said WGAW Vice President Howard A. Rodman in a statement. “With appreciation and respect, we take this moment to celebrate an American master.”

Since becoming a WGAW member in 1963, Mazursky has earned both critical and industry praise for his work in multiple areas of filmmaking. His Oscar-nominated screenplays include Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Harry and Tonto (1974), An Unmarried Woman (1978) and Enemies: A Love Story (1989), all of which also earned WGA nominations. His debut, I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968) and Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) also were nominated for Original Screenplay guild prizes.

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Mazursky also was an accomplished director, helming his own screenplays for Blume in Love (1973), Willie & Phil (1980), Tempest (1982), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Moon Over Parador (1988), Scenes From a Mall (1991) and The Pickle (1993). Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976) was nominated for the Palme D’Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival.

Impressively, Mazursky also squeezed acting into his busy career, appearing in such films as Deathwatch (1966), A Star Is Born (1976), Punchline (1988), Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989) and Carlito’s Way (1993), as well as small-screen roles on The Sopranos, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Twilight Zone.

The WGAW's Screen Laurel Award is given to a “member who has advanced the literature of motion pictures and made outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter.”

Mazursky joins the ranks of lauded writers like David Mamet, Lawrence Kasdan, Robert Benton, Barry Levinson, Steven Zaillian, Eric Roth and Tom Stoppard.

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