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Linda Woolverton Collection
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Collection Overview
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The Linda Woolverton Collection, 1990-2012, contains screenplays and development materials for three feature films written by Woolverton for Disney - Beauty and the Beast (1991), Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Melficent (2014).
Linda Woolverton was born in Long Beach, California in 1952. She was an honors student in her high school’s theater program and graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a BFA in Theater Arts in 1973. While working as a substitute teacher, she completed a Master’s Degree in Theater for Children at California State Fullerton in 1976. She then formed her own children's theater company, writing, directing and performing all over California in churches, malls, schools, and local theaters. In 1980, Woolverton began working as a development executive for CBS, concentrating on both children's and late-night programming. During her lunch breaks at CBS, she wrote her first young adult novel, Star Wind. She left this job after several years to pursue a writing career full time. While working as a substitute teacher, she completed another young adult novel, Running Before the Wind. These books were published in 1986 and 1987 respectively. Between 1984 and 1989, Woolverton worked as a children's television writer, penning scripts for shows such as Ewoks, The Real Ghostbusters , Dennis the Menace and Popples. Eventually, she expressed her wish to work for Disney, but was discouraged by her agent. Not giving up, Woolverton went to the Disney offices in Burbank and dropped off a copy of Running Before the Wind for a secretary, asking to "give it to somebody to read.” Two days later, she received a call from Disney Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg inviting her for an interview. As a result, she was hired to write the script for the animated motion picture Beauty and the Beast (1991). She was the first woman to write an animated feature for Disney and the movie was the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The success of Beauty and the Beast led to a long professional relationship with Disney. She co-wrote the screenplay of the live-action film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993) and co-wrote the screenplay of The Lion King, released in 1994. During this time, Linda also adapted her Beauty screenplay into a Broadway musical, which opened to critical acclaim in 1994 and garnered Linda a Tony Award nomination for Best Book in a Musical. Linda also co-wrote the book of the Disney musical Aida, which opened on Broadway in 2000. Most recently, Woolverton wrote the screenplays for Disney’s live action films Alice in Wonderland (2010), Maleficent (2014) and the sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016). Throughout these stories Woolverton reimagined classic heroines and tales for a modern audience. Linda Woolverton resides in Los Angeles.
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