Joe Eszterhas Biography
Joe Eszterhas, born József A. Eszterhás, is a Hungarian-American screenwriter, author, producer, and former journalist well known for writing the scripts for the films Flashdance, Jagged Edge, Basic Instinct and Showgirls. Alongside screenplays, he has written a number of books including an autobiography titled Hollywood Animal, American Rhapsody and Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith. One of his well-known characteristics is his rough, gruff, unkempt, bear appearance and personality.
Joe Eszterhas’ Biography
One of his earliest roles was as a senior editor for Rolling Stone from 1971-75. Before leaving Rolling Stone, in 1974, he was nominated for a National Book Award for his book “Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse”. In the same year, he was involved in Cantrell v. Forest City Publishing, one of the two false light cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
He later became a reporter for The Plain Dealer, where he covered the consequences of the collapse of a certain bridge that crosses the Ohio River. He wrote about one widow of one of the fatal victims of the collapse in his Sunday Magazine. The article focused on the family’s poverty and contained several inaccuracies causing a ruckus that led to a lawsuit which the widow won.
In screenwriting, the first screenplay he produced was F.I.S.T. directed by Norman Jewison. He also contributed greatly to the script of 1983’s highly successful Flashdance as well as writing screenplays for Jagged Edge, Jade, Betrayed, Sliver, and Basic Instinct.
He began planning to leave the Creative Artists Agency in 1989 because an old friend of his was restarting his agency. In 1995, he wrote the screenplay for “Showgirls” which received negative press an won the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Screenplay. The film was a success despite all the negativity it got and it became one of MGM’s top 20 all-time Bestsellers.
Joe Eszterhas wrote the screenplays for Telling Lies in America and An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn. The latter was an utter failure with several Golden Raspberry Awards, four of them awarded to Eszterhas himself: Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, and both Worst New Star and Worst Supporting Actor.
This failure bruised his career since none of the screenplays he wrote between 1997 and 2006 ever got produced. In 2006, the release of a film based upon his screenplay, Children of Glory, a Hungarian language film, entered by invitation in the official section of 2007 Berlin Film Festival.
He was to write a screenplay, announced in 2011, for Mel Gibson for the film “The Maccabees”. to be distributed by Warner Bros. This announced controversy as in an interview in 2008 Joe Eszterhas shared that Mel Gibson shared the mindset of Adolf Hitler since he believed that Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ was widely considered anti-Semitic.
Warner Bros canceled the project by April 2012. Mel said the cancellation was due to a bad script while Joe disagreed saying the cause was Gibson’s violent outbursts and anti-Semitism. He later wrote a book titled “Heaven and Mel” inscribing his experiences working with Mel.
Joe Eszterhas has also written a number of books, many of which are best-sellers. One of his best-known books is “Hollywood Animal”, an autobiography about Politics in Hollywood. His book “Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith”, published in 2008 tells the story of his return to the Catholic Church God and family after surviving throat cancer in 2001.
In his book, “Heaven and Mel” he illustrates the experience he had working with Mel Gibson. He regards Mel as a man fueled only by hatred, prone to violent outbursts. He claims, in the book, that as they were staying at Gibson’s Costa Rican estate to work on a script, he became so afraid that he slept with a golf club in his hand. In his books, he mostly names his character after baseball players.
Joe Eszterhas Age
Joe was born on November 23, 1944.
Joe Eszterhas Family
Joe Eszterhas was born on the 23rd of November 1944 in a small village called Csákánydoroszló located in the Vas County of Hungary. His parents were Roman Catholics Mária (maiden name Bíró) and István Eszterhás, who collaborated with the Hungarian Nazi government and organized book burnings and had cranked out the vilest anti-Semitic propaganda imaginable. At a young age, he was mostly raised in a child refugee camp in Austria but eventually, the family later moved to New York City.
After some time spent in New York, the family moved again to Cleveland to settle in poor immigrant neighborhoods. Joe spent most of his childhood in this neighborhood. After learning of his father’s World War II ties at age 45, he cut him entirely out of his life for good. He, however, regretted his decision after the death of his father since his father, at his deathbed asked to see him frequently but he never did come to visit.
Joe Eszterhas Wife
He married Geraldine Javer in 1974. After some years in marriage, the two got divorced in 1994 after bearing two children together. In that same year, he got married again, to Naomi Baka. The couple, at the time, have four children together.
Joe Eszterhas Children
Joe has 6 children in total.
Joe Eszterhas Height
Information will be updated soon.
Joe Eszterhas Salary
Joe’s salary is estimated to be between $10k to $50k per year.
Joe Eszterhas Net Worth
His net worth is estimated to be around $ 350k.
Joe Eszterhas Filmography
- F.I.S.T. (1978)
- Flashdance (1983)
- Blue Thunder (1983)
- Pals (early 1980s)
- Jagged Edge (1985)
- Big Shots (1987)
- Hearts of Fire (1987)
- Betrayed (1988)
- Checking Out (1989)
- Music Box (1989)
- Basic Instinct (1992)
- Nowhere to Run (1993)
- Sliver (1993)
- Showgirls (1995)
- Jade (1995)
- One Night Stand (1997)
- Telling Lies in America (1997)
- An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn (1997)
- Children of Glory (2006)
- The Doctor’s Wife based on the novel by Brian Moore for director Karel Reisz (1977)
- The Plutonium Project – based on the life of Karen Silkwood – for Jane Fonda (1977)
- Rowdy – about the Alaska pipelines – with director Alan J. Pakula (the early 1980s)
- Nark – adapted from one of his own books (the early 1980s)
- City Hall – written with Jim Morgan – sold for a then-record price of $500,000 (the early 1980s)
- Bad Guys (1984) – a thriller for Lorimar
- The Bouncer (1980s)
- Beat the Eagle (the late 1980s)
- Sacred Cows (1990)
- Original Sin (1991)
- Reliable Sources (the 1990s)
- Male Pattern Baldness (the 1990s)
- Foreplay (1994)
- Gangland (1994)
- Die Shot
- The Maccabees (2012) – film for Mel Gibson
Joe Eszterhas Books
- 13 Seconds: Confrontation at Kent State, Dodd: Mead 1970, with Michael Roberts
- Charlie Simpson’s Apocalypse, New York: Random House, 1973
- Nark!, San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books
- American Rhapsody, Vintage, 2001
- Hollywood Animal, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004
- The Devil’s Guide to Hollywood, 2006
- Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith, St. Martin’s Press
- Heaven and Mel, Amazon Kindle Single, 2012
Joe Eszterhas Quotes
Cigarettes are not a part of human behaviour, they are a habit.
From a writing point of view, you now have teams of screenwriters working with a director. What’s lost in the process is the power of that one heart, brain, gut and soul that makes something an original piece of writing.
I worry that we are approaching a time when that which is shocking is squeezed out by the Stalinism of political correctness.
I have only one loyalty – to my writing. I never wanted to be the head of a studio or a producer.
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