Chaired the student disciplinary committee in high school; also acted and played football.
As a teenager, acted in Jewish instructional films (an uncle was the broadcast chairman of the Chicago Board of Rabbis), and worked backstage at Chicago theaters and as a Second City busboy.
Began writing the plays Sexual Perversity in Chicago, The Duck Variations and Reunion while a student at Goddard College.
His post-college job at a Chicago real-estate company provided material for the Pulitzer-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross.
After college, taught drama at Goddard; students included William H. Macy.
Directed first wife, Lindsay Crouse, in his movie directorial debut, House of Games (1987); directed second wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, in a number of plays and movies, including the 1991 crime thriller Homicide.
Published a book of poetry, The Hero Pony, in 1990; published first novel, The Village, in 1994.
1982, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nominee
1997, Oscar — Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Nominee
1988, Tony — Play: Nominee
1984, Tony — Play: Nominee
1983, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee
1999, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee
2013, Emmy — Outstanding Miniseries or Movie: Nominee
2013, Emmy — Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special: Nominee
2013, Emmy — Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Dramatic Special: Nominee
2005, Writers Guild Awards — The Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement: Winner