July 2, 1960
Oscar-nominee Terry Rossio has proved to be one of Hollywood's most successful screenwriters, having penned several acclaimed blockbusters with his writing partner, Ted Elliott. In 1989, the duo earned their first screenwriter credit for the monster-under-the-bed buddy-comedy "Little Monsters," which starred 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 was hired to pen the Arabian Nights tale "Aladdin." Released in 1992, the film was a critically praised blockbuster, and, while Rossio and Elliott would experiment with different genres, they often returned to family-friendly adventures--with varying degrees of success. While the 2000 treasure-questing "The Road to El Dorado" was a box-office flop that received middling reviews from critics, their 2001 effort, "Shrek," the tale of an ogre with a heart of gold, was widely praised, and earned nearly $500 million in gross revenues, attracting fans young and old and winning numerous accolades, including an Oscar nod for the writers and the Oscar for Best Animated Feature. While the fractured fairy tale proved to be the start of a "Shrek" franchise, Rossio and Elliot moved on to tales of pirates with Disney's high seas adventure, "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," which was so successful it led to a string of sequels, which the pair also wrote. The widely regarded screenwriters also maintain a website designed to help struggling writers: Wordplayer.com.