On April 14, 1976 I received a call from Paramount Studios informing me that Michael Landon had bought my spec script for “Little House on the Prairie.” Imagine my thrill. Since that date I have been a Hollywood “Working” Writer. I've acquired more than 60 TV credits, written a bunch of movies for cable and received critical acclaim for my feature motion picture. (See my credits)
I've been awarded 3 Emmys (5 nominations), the Humanitas Prize (2 nominations) and 1 Writers Guild Award with 4 nominations. The Western Writers of America honored me with their Spur Award and my movie won Best Picture at a number of prestigious film festivals. My more current projects include a movie for Showtime, produced and directed by Salma Hayek which earned 5 Emmy nominations. I wrote a movie for the Hallmark Channel that was the 3rd highest rated Hallmark Channel film of all time and spawned two sequels. The Disney Channel bought and produced one of my scripts and The Animal Planet produced another. Did I mention I taught Writing for Film and Television at Pepperdine University?
I wrote the critically acclaimed film ONCE UPON A TIME WHEN WE WERE COLORED winning Best Picture honors at the Movie Guide Awards and first Annual Black Film Festival.
My television credits include MURDER, SHE WROTE, HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN, LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE and THE WALTONS. And I served as Story Editor for Oprah Winfrey's dramatic series BREWSTER PLACE.
I have written 21 ABC and CBS AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS dealing with subject matter exploring every significant social issue including incest, alcoholism, physical abuse, homosexuality and racism. A number of these projects won Emmys as Best Television Specials for their significant social and dramatic impact.
And I have written a number of films for cable television, which have appeared on Showtime, Disney, the Animal Planet and Family Channels. Additionally, I wrote and directed the interactive CD-Rom video game, CHESS WARS: A MEDIEVAL FANTASY, which won Best New Game honors.
Upon graduation from the University of Tulsa as a business major, I served for six years as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and am a proud Vietnam veteran.
I began script writing while sitting long hours of alert as an aircraft commander in the Strategic Air Command. After many years of agent rejections, I eventually attracted the attention of Earl Hamner, creator of THE WALTONS, who encouraged me to come to Hollywood and give television writing a try. The rest is history.
My wife, Donna, and I currently live in the Los Angeles area.
Paul W. Cooper
Three Emmys. Five Emmy Nominations • Humanitas Prize. Two Humanitas Nominations • WGA Award. Four Nominations • Spur Award – the Western Writers of America • Epiphany Prize Nomination • The Movieguide Award • 2019 Kairos Prize • Camie Award, Character & Morality in Entertainment
"Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored" United Image Entertainment – Starring Phylicia Rashad, Richard Roundtree, Al Freeman Jr. – Winner, Best Feature Film – WORLDFEST-HOUSTON. Nominated, Best Picture – IMAGE AWARDS. Won, Best Picture – MOVIEGUIDE AWARDS. Won, Best Picture – the first ANNUAL BLACK FILM FESTIVAL.
CHESS WARS: A Medieval Fantasy and Interactive Motion Picture written and directed by Paul W. Cooper. Art Data Interactive. Won, Best New Video Game.
STAFF EXPERIENCE & ACADEMIC
Story Editor – BREWSTER PLACE, Starring Oprah Winfrey.
Instructor – "Writing for Film and Television"
Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA.
MURDER, SHE WROTE – CBS 2 episodes
HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN – NBC 7 episodes
LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE – NBC 5 episodes
BREWSTER PLACE – ABC (story editor) multiple
THE WALTONS – CBS
HART TO HART – ABC 2 episodes
FANTASY ISLAND – ABC
LIFE AND TIMES OF GRIZZLY ADAMS – NBC 3 episodes
FATHER MURPHY – NBC 5 episodes
ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIALS – 8 specials
CBS SCHOOLBREAK SPECIALS – 13 specials.
"Crimes of the Mind" LMN Network. Exec. Producer
“The Note” Movie for The Hallmark Channel, won the
Camie Award. Highest rated Hallmark movie of 2007,
third highest rated Hallmark movie of all time.
"The Maldonado Miracle" Movie for Showtime, Salma
Hayek, producer/director, starring Peter Fonda, Mare
Winningham, Ruben Blades (Sundance Film Festival)
5 Emmy Award nominations, 2004 Writers Guild Award
“Hatching Pete” Two hour movie. Disney Channel
"Night of the Wolf" Movie for the Animal Planet starring
Anne Archer, Robert Urick
"Good Old Boy" MULTIMEDIA Two hour movie. Disney
"The Adventures of Shirley Holmes" SUNBOW PRODS.
Two hour movie. Disney Channel
"Match-Point" CORNERSTONE PRODS. Two hour movie.
"The Secret of Lost Creek" CORNERSTONE PRODS. Two
hour movie. Disney Channel
"Most Valuable Player" and "Heather" LMNO Prods. Two
hour movie. Family Channel
THE JOE LOUIS STORY – Feature MP
THE GLASS EYE – Feature MP
IN THE WORLD - Faith-based MP
MINGO ROAD - Faith-based MP