Nancy Meyers 
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Nancy Meyers

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In the late 1970s, Meyers started work with Charles Shyer when she was a story editor in the film division at Motown. The pair became friends and, along with Harvey Miller, created the script for the comedy Private Benjamin (1980) together, a film about a JAP who joins the U. S. Army after her husband dies on their wedding night during sex. Starring actress Goldie Hawn, who along with Meyers and Shyer executive produced the project, it was Hawn's agent who made Warner Brothers executive Robert Shapiro buy the script after practically "everybody [had] turned it down. Everybody. More than once," according to Meyers. Meyers described how hard it was to get the film made, noting, "Every single studio in Hollywood read it and passed on it. . . One studio called Goldie and said 'if you make this movie it’s a career ender. '” Contrary to the conventional wisdom at the time, that a female lead with no male star was box office poison, Private Benjamin became one of the biggest box office hits of the year 1980, grossing nearly $70 million in total. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, as were Hawn and her co-star, Eileen Brennan, for their performances, and won the team a Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay. In addition, the film spawned a same-titled short-lived but Golden Globe-winning television series that aired from 1981 until 1983.

Actors, actresses and directors in Hollywood.