Stephen Schiff biography

Stephen Schiff

Screenwriter, Film writer


Who is Stephen Schiff?

Stephen Schiff is an American screenwriter and journalist. He is best known for his work at The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, his screenplays for Lolita, True Crime, and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and his work as a writer and producer on the acclaimed FX television series The Americans.

Schiff grew up in Littleton, Colorado and began his writing career at The Boston Phoenix, where he became the chief film critic and film editor, and hired and trained such critics as Owen Gleiberman and David Edelstein.

In 1983, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. Later that year, he was named Critic-at-Large of Vanity Fair, a post he held until 1992, when he became a staff writer at The New Yorker, specializing in cultural profiles, many of which appeared under his rubric, “Cultural Pursuits.” His subjects included Steven Spielberg, V.S. Naipaul, Stephen Sondheim, Oliver Stone, Muriel Spark, and Edward Gorey.

From 1987 until 1996, Schiff was also the Film Critic of National Public Radio's Fresh Air.


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  • United States of America
  • Wesleyan University
Lived in
  • Littleton

on July 23, 2013

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