James L. Brooks will be honored by the Writers Guild of America, West with the 2018 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement, it was announced Tuesday.
The honor, which is given to writers that have advanced the literature of motion pictures, will be presented to Brooks at the 2018 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.
The screenwriter-director-producer has three Oscars (best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay for Terms of Endearment) and 18 Emmy wins under his belt, as well as four Writers Guild Awards.
Brooks’ films Broadcast News and As Good as It Gets — which he wrote, directed and produced — as well as Jerry Maguire, which he produced, were all nominated for Oscars as well.
In addition to his work in film, Brooks has had a long career in television, writing for shows such as Men in Crisis, My Mother the Car, My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show and That Girl, among many others. He would also go on to develop The Simpsons with Matt Groening and Sam Simon. In 1998, Brooks was awarded the WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement, which he shared with his frequent TV writing partner Allan Burns.
“James L. Brooks looms large for writers in our business,” WGAW president David A. Goodman said in a statement. “His movie scripts walk a razor’s edge; they are comedies that are tinged with tragedy, they have moments of absurdity mixed with sharply observed truths. The beauty of his work is that you never hear the writer behind it, his characters talk like real people and his scripts feel like life. We at the WGAW Board of Directors consider it our honor to give him this award.”
Previous recipients of the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement include Elaine May, Oliver Stone, Harold Ramis, David Mamet, Robert Towne, Tom Stoppard, Paul Mazursky, Lawrence Kasdan, Eric Roth and Steven Zaillian.