|Born||May 13, 1957 (age 49)
Alan Ball (born May 13, 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, director, producer and occasional actor, who is best known for writing the screenplay for the Oscar-winning film American Beauty, and for creating the HBO original drama series Six Feet Under.
Alan Ball is a graduate of the Florida State University School of Theatre.
Ball started out by writing for the TV show Cybill, starring Cybill Shepherd, and he stated that he based the horrific suburban wife character played by Annette Bening in American Beauty on Shepherd, who has earned a reputation for being extremely difficult to work with, from both male and female co-workers. Ball has also written scripts for stage plays such as Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, Bachelor Holiday, Power Lunch and Your Mother's Butt.
He is outspokenly gay and his work frequently includes gay themes and characters.
In 2004, he acquired the film rights to the Alicia Erian novel Towelhead, which was published on April 6, 2005. He announced that he will write a screenplay and direct the film, which will start production in 2006, now that he has wrapped up the fifth and final season of Six Feet Under. The novel is about a young Arab-American woman growing up in Texas who struggles with her identity, just as she falls for a bigoted Army reservist during the Gulf War. Aaron Eckhart, Toni Collette and Maria Bello are on board to star, as is newcomer Summer Bishil, who will play the protagonist. "To me, it's a story of personal courage," Ball tells TimeOut magazine, "claiming responsibility to be who you are at a very early age and without proper role models to guide you." Shooting begins in Los Angeles in September 2006.
In 2005 it was announced that Ball would undertake the writing and direction of a new HBO series based upon Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire Mysteries. The series, about a single barmaid and her adventures with the coming-out-of-the-coffin-undead, is to be titled "True Blood" and is slated to air in Autumn 2007.
Ball has written nine episodes for his series Six Feet Under and has directed 6 episodes including the series finale.