July 4, 1961
Oscar nominee Ted Elliott has proved to be one of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters, having penned several acclaimed blockbusters with his writing partner Terry Rossio. In 1989, the duo earned their first screenwriting credit for "Little Monsters," the monster-under-the-bed buddy-comedy starring Fred Savage and Howie Mandel. Though the film was not hugely successful in theaters, the writing team caught the attention of Disney's animation studios and were hired to pen the Arabian Nights tale "Aladdin." Released in 1992, the animated adventure proved to be a critically praised hit, and while Elliott and Rossio went on to experiment with different genres, they often returned to family-friendly adventures--though with varying degrees of success. In 2000, their treasure questing adventure, "The Road to El Dorado," was a box office flop. Their 2001 effort "Shrek," which told the tale of an ogre with a heart of gold, was wildly popular, earning nearly $500 million in gross revenue, attracting fans both young and old, winning numerous accolades including an Oscar nod for the writers and an Oscar win for Best Animated Feature. While the fractured fairy tale also proved to be the start of a "Shrek" franchise, Elliott and Rossio moved on to tales of pirates, penning Disney's high seas adventure "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl." This too proved successful and has led to a string of sequels penned by the pair. Looking to give back, the widely regarded screenwriters founded a website to help struggling writers: Wordplayer.com.