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The evening concludes with a reception featuring complimentary Pravda Vodka, beer, wine and appetizers by Chipotle.


This Academy Award winner’s credits include Have Gun, Will Travel, Naked City, and Route 66 (all TV) and Cat Ballou, The Looking Glass War, The Anderson Tapes, Dog Day Afternoon, A Star is Born, In Country and Presumed Innocent. His script for Cool Hand Luke is often hailed as one of the best screenplays ever written. Moderator is David Thomson. Learn from a true giant.

Born in Chappaqua, New York, Pierson served in the Pacific during World War II, subsequently earning a degree with honors in cultural anthropology from Harvard University. As a field correspondent for Time and Life magazines, a young Pierson covered movies and military affairs. In 1958, he left journalism, sold his first script to the half-hour anthology Alcoa Goodyear Theater, and worked as script editor for Have Gun Will Travel.

Writer-director Pierson has carved out a prolific career that transcends small and big screens, garnering a slew of industry awards along the way. As a screenwriter, his Oscar-nominated credits include Cat Ballou (1965, Best Writing, Screenplay Based On Material from Another Medium, shared with Walter Newman, which also earned the pair a WGA nod for Best Written American Comedy that year) and Cool Hand Luke (1967, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium), as well his Oscar-winning original screenplay for Dog Day Afternoon (1975), which also earned Pierson a Writers Guild Award for Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen. Pierson’s other notable writing credits include Presumed Innocent (1990), In Country (1989), and A Star Is Born (1976). Earlier on, three-time WGA nominee Pierson penned episodes for classic TV series such as Route 66 and Naked City.

As an acclaimed director, Pierson’s credits have ranged from film features such as The Looking Glass War (1969), A Star is Born (1976), and King of the Gypsies (1978) to more recent cable fare, including DGA-nominated telefilms Citizen Cohn (1992) and Truman (1995), as well as Conspiracy (2001, for which he won a 2002 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television), Soldier’s Girl (2003), and Paradise (2004). A three-time Emmy nominee, Pierson received directing nods for Citizen Cohn, Conspiracy, and Soldier’s Girl.

Most recently, Pierson was awarded the Writers’ Guild Associations’ Morgan Cox Award, which honors that WGA member or group of members whose “vital ideas, continuing efforts, and personal sacrifice best exemplify the ideal of service to the guild.” Previous Morgan Cox recipients include Fay Kanin, Allen Rivkin, Mel Shavelson, Irma Kalish, Ann Marcus, George Kirgo, Del Reisman, David W. Rintels, James Buchanan, and last year’s recipient, Hal Kanter. The late Morgan B. Cox, who died in 1968, devoted much of his professional life to serving the Writers Guild, helping ensure that television writers were included under the jurisdiction of the Writers Guild.

The event will conclude with a reception hosted by Pravda Vodka and Chipotle. Drinks (including beer and wine) and appetizers are included in the ticket price.

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