Who is Lona Williams?
Williams was raised in Rosemount, Minnesota, where her father, Les, was a middle school math teacher. Williams participated in a number of beauty pageants as a child and was crowned Minnesota's Junior Miss in 1985, before becoming the runner up in the year's America's Junior Miss, winning a $10,000 scholarship. She graduated from Rosemount High School shortly thereafter.
Williams attended the University of Minnesota and after taking a screen-writing course there, her teacher encouraged her to move to California to find work. After working as an assistant on one show, Jerry Belson helped her get a job as a writing assistant on The Simpsons. She occasionally provided voices for the show, including that of Amber Dempsey, a single-episode character from "Lisa the Beauty Queen". She noted: "I really was only a typist for the show. But by working on the script, I learned how the scripts were put together. I would go to work and type all day, and come home and work on my spec scripts for The Simpsons and Roseanne."
Bruce Helford hired Williams as a writer on the short-lived Someone Like Me before in 1995 signing her up as a writer and producer on The Drew Carey Show. She stayed for three seasons and wrote the screenplay Dairy Queens which was retitled and released in 1999 as Drop Dead Gorgeous. She also wrote the original script for the 2001 film Sugar & Spice.
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