Ron Nyswaner
James Schamus and Ron Nyswaner.jpg
James Schamus (left) and Ron Nyswaner (right) in 2009
Born (1956-10-05) October 5, 1956 (age 65)
OccupationFilm director, writer

Ronald L. Nyswaner (born October 5, 1956) is an American screenwriter and film director.[1]

Background and education

Nyswaner was born in Clarksville, Pennsylvania.


Nyswaner wrote his first screenplay for the Susan Seidelman film Smithereens. After two other notable screenplays for Swing Shift and Mrs. Soffel, he gave his directorial debut with The Prince of Pennsylvania in 1988, a film with Keanu Reeves and Fred Ward.

Nyswaner, who is openly gay[2] and an activist for gay rights, has often worked on movies with the subjects homosexuality, homophobia, and AIDS. Examples are the documentary The Celluloid Closet and the television drama Soldier's Girl, about the homicide of Private Barry Winchell. In 1993, he came to worldwide prominence for his screenplay to the Academy Award-winning movie Philadelphia, directed by Jonathan Demme. It earned him nominations at the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, and the BAFTAs.

After several years of working for television, he wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film The Painted Veil which is based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham. He received a nomination for the Independent Spirit Award and won the award of the National Board of Review in 2006.

In 2004, he published Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir, which chronicles his relationship with alcohol, drugs, and hustlers.

From 2015 to 2017, he was an executive producer for the Showtime TV series, Homeland.

In 2015, Nyswaner directed a documentary film, She's the Best Thing In It, featuring Mary Louise Wilson, which he coproduced along with Jeffrey Schwarz and Neda Armian.[3]


  1. ^ The New York Times
  2. ^ Nyswaner, Ron (2004), Blue Days, Black Nights: A Memoir, Advocate Books, ISBN 1-55583-889-8
  3. ^ Setoodeh, Ramin (December 18, 2015). "SXSW Doc 'She's the Best Thing In It' Sells to GoDigital (EXCLUSIVE)". Retrieved October 23, 2021.