Alan Erwin Ball
May 13, 1957
Marietta, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||University of Georgia, Florida State University|
|Occupation(s)||Screenwriter, director, producer|
|Notable work||American Beauty (1999)|
Six Feet Under (2001–2005)
True Blood (2008–2014)
|Television||Grace Under Fire, Cybill|
Alan Erwin Ball (born May 13, 1957) is an American writer, director, and producer for television, film, and theater.
Ball wrote the screenplay for American Beauty, for which he earned an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He also created the series Six Feet Under and True Blood, works for which he earned an Emmy as well as awards from the Writers, Directors, and Producers Guilds of America. He was an executive producer on the Cinemax television series Banshee. He also wrote and directed the film Uncle Frank.
Ball was born in Marietta, Georgia, to Frank and Mary Ball, respectively an aircraft inspector and a homemaker. His older sister, Mary Ann, was killed in a car accident when Ball was 13; he was in the passenger seat at the time. He attended high school in Marietta before going to college at the University of Georgia and Florida State University. Ball graduated from Florida State in 1980 with a degree in theater arts.
After college, he began work as a playwright at the General Nonsense Theater Company in Sarasota, Florida.
Ball broke into television as a writer and story editor on the situation comedies Grace Under Fire and Cybill.
Ball has written three films, American Beauty (1999), Towelhead (2007) and Uncle Frank (2020), the latter of which he also produced and directed. He is also the creator, writer and executive producer of the HBO drama series Six Feet Under and True Blood. Ball was the showrunner for True Blood for its first five seasons.
In 2010 Ball began work on a television adaptation of the crime noir novel The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston, to be titled All Signs of Death. In December 2010, after several months of pre-production, HBO cancelled production on the project.
Ball was also one of the executive producers of the Cinemax series Banshee.
In July 2016, it was announced that Ball's family drama Here and Now had been ordered to series by HBO. Starring Tim Robbins and Holly Hunter, the show was cancelled in April 2018 after one ten-episode season.
Ball has discussed his Buddhist faith in numerous interviews, noting how it has influenced his filmmaking. In an interview with Amazon.com, Ball commented on the plastic bag scene in American Beauty, stating: "I had an encounter with a plastic bag! And I didn't have a video camera, like Ricky does... There's a Buddhist notion of the miraculous within the mundane, and I think we certainly live in a culture that encourages us not to look for that." Ball has also discussed how his Buddhism has shaped themes in Six Feet Under and True Blood, both of which he has substantially contributed to.
Ball is gay and has been called "a strong voice for [the] LGBT community". In 2008 he made Out magazine's annual list of the 100 most impressive gay men and women.
For his work in television and film, Ball has received critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations, including an Academy Award, an Emmy a Golden Globe, and awards from the Writers, Directors, and Producers Guilds.
|"The Road to Paris, Texas"||1994||
|"Grace vs. Wade"||1994||Writer|
|"A Night at the Opera"||1995||Writer|
|"Memphis Bound"||1995||Writer, with Marc Flanagan|
|"Zing!"||1995||Teleplay, with Lee Aronsohn|
|"To Sir, with Lust"||1996||Writer|
|"Three Women and a Dummy"||1996||Writer|
|"Venice or Bust"||1996||Writer|
|"Name That Tune"||1997||Teleplay, with Michael Langworthy|
|"Regarding Henry"||1997||Story||Season 4 premiere|
|"Halloween"||1997||Teleplay, with Mark Hudis|
|"Where's a Harpoon When You Need One?"||1997||Teleplay, with Kim Friese|
|"Oh Brother!"||1998||Teleplay, with Mark Hudis|
|"Good Pop, Bad Pop"||1999||Writer|
|"An Open Book"||2001||Writer|
||Season 1 finale|
|"In The Game"||2002||Writer||Season 2 premiere|
|"Someone Else's Eyes"||2002||Writer|
|"The Last Time"||2002||Director||Season 2 finale|
|"Perfect Circles"||2003||Writer||Season 3 premiere|
|"Nobody Sleeps"||2003||Writer, with
|"I'm Sorry, I'm Lost"||2003||Director||Season 3 finale|
|"Can I Come Up Now?"||2004||Writer|
|"Untitled"||2004||Director||Season 4 finale|
|"The First Taste"||2008||Writer|
|"You'll Be the Death of Me"||2008||Director||Season 1 finale|
|"Shake and Fingerpop"||2009||Writer|
|"I Got a Right to Sing the Blues"||2010||Writer|
|"Evil is Going On"||2010||Writer||Season 3 finale|
|"If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin'?"||2011||Writer|
|"Save Yourself"||2012||Writer||Season 5 finale|
|The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks||2017||
|Five Women Wearing the Same Dress||1993||
|All That I Will Ever Be||2007||
He is also openly gay & a strong voice for our LGBT community.
Ball has been lauded as a strong and significant voice for the American gay community.