The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) has named two-time WGAW President Daniel Petrie, Jr. as its 2013 Morgan Cox Award honoree in recognition of his longtime service to the Guild. The award will be presented at the WGAW's 2013 Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Sunday, February 17, 2013, at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.
"Dan Petrie, Jr. is a remarkable man, distinguished for his creative accomplishments as an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, as a producer and as a director, and no less distinguished for his long and passionate commitment to the well-being of all writers. Dan has served this Guild for 25 years, twice as President. He has guided us through difficult times. A champion of our fervent and often raucous democracy, with a quiet manner and a firm hand, Dan made our many voices our strength. In the process, he earned the respect of all who served with him. He has always had mine. It is fitting, therefore, that Dan Petrie, Jr. should be the unanimous choice of the Board to receive this year's Morgan Cox Award," said WGAW President Christopher Keyser.
Screenwriter-director-producer Petrie was nominated for an Academy Award for his first produced script, the box-office hit Beverly Hills Cop (1984), starring Eddie Murphy (Screenplay by Daniel Petrie, Jr., Story by Danilo Bach and Daniel Petrie, Jr.). He followed up this success with his original screenplay for the romantic thriller, The Big Easy (1986), which received an Edgar Allen Poe Award nomination for Best Motion Picture and was later adapted into a 1996-97 TV series. Petrie then served as producer of the thriller Shoot to Kill (1988), which he co-wrote (Screenplay by Harv Zimmel and Michael Burton and Daniel Petrie, Jr., Story by Harv Zimmel), and as executive producer of the comedy Turner & Hooch (1989), starring Tom Hanks, which he co-wrote (Screenplay by Dennis Shryack & Michael Blodgett and Daniel Petrie, Jr. and Jim Cash & Jack Epps, Jr., Story by Dennis Shryack & Michael Blodgett).
Petrie made his directorial debut with the 1991 action-adventure feature Toy Soldiers, which he co-wrote (Screenplay by Daniel Petrie, Jr. and David Koepp, Based on the novel by William Kennedy). Petrie also directed the HBO film Dead Silence, as well as adapted and directed the TNT movie Framed. Petrie also co-wrote the acclaimed HallMark Hall of Fame telefilm Pictures of Hollis Woods (Teleplay by Ann Peacock and Daniel Petrie, Jr. and Camille Thomasson, Based on the Novel by Patricia Reilly Giff), which earned the trio a Humanitas Prize nomination (90 Minute or Longer Network or Syndicated Television). Most recently, Petrie was executive producer, showrunner, and co-creator of the military medical drama Combat Hospital (Created by Jinder Oujila-Chalmers & Douglas Steinberg and Daniel Petrie, Jr.), a 13-episode series which was simulcast on Canada's Global TV and ABC in the U.S. during the summer of 2011.
In 2006, Petrie and producing partner Rick Dugdale founded Enderby Entertainment, an independent film, television, and digital media company with an old-fashioned emphasis on storytelling on the creative side, and transparency on the financial side. The company recently arranged the financing and co-produced writer-director Stephen Elliot's film About Cherry, which premiered at the 2012 Berlin International Film Festival. Enderby's thriller division, Tony-Seven Films, has also financed and produced six genre pictures to date: The Speak, Vile, 5 Souls, Silver Falls, No Tell Motel, and Bloodshed.
A Writers Guild member since 1984, Petrie has an extensive history of service to the Guild, including serving two terms as WGAW President (1997-99, 2004-05) and three terms as Vice President (1995-97, 1999-01, 2004), as well as a member of the WGAW Board of Directors (1994-95). Petrie currently serves as the Writers Guild Foundation's Vice President of Programs, having held that position since 2009. His other Foundation service includes stints on the WGF's Board of Directors (1995-03, 2005-08), as Treasurer (2008), and as Vice President of Development (2001-04). In addition, Petrie has served as member of numerous WGAW committees over the past three decades, including: MBA Negotiating (2001, 2004), Board Nominating (1988; Chair 1996, 1997), CAC Creative Rights Subcommittee (1994-97), Committee Advisory Panel (1996-97), Contract Adjustment Negotiating, Alternate (1997), CPSW-Theatrical (Committee on Professional Status of Writers, 1989-04), Film Society (1985-12), and Outreach Steering (1986-87).
Petrie is a former Governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a former Trustee of the American Film Institute, as well as a longtime member of the AMPAS Foundation's Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Committee. He has also long been an active volunteer for the Austin Film Festival and Screenwriting Conference. Establishing his continuing commitment to the festival, in 2012, the Austin Film Festival announced the addition of the Enderby Entertainment Award to the festival's screenwriting competition - a new award open to feature screenplays in all genres with an original concept and distinctive voice that can be independently produced with a production budget under $5 million.
Petrie inherited a tradition of volunteer service to the motion picture and television industry from his parents: his father was the late Canadian director and longtime Directors Guild of America (DGA) Board member Daniel Petrie, Sr., while mother is producer and longtime Producers Guild of America (PGA) Board member Dorothea Petrie. Petrie lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Constance Petrie.
The Morgan Cox Award honors that WGAW member whose vital ideas, continuing efforts, and personal sacrifice best exemplify the ideal of service to the Guild. Previous recipients include George Kirgo, Del Reisman, Frank Pierson, Carl Gottlieb, and Patric M. Verrone. During his lifetime, the late Cox devoted his professional career to serving the Guild, working to ensure that television writers were included under WGA jurisdiction.