A third-generation Hollywood writer, Whedon started out as a story editor on Roseanne
before penning the screenplay for the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer
in 1992. After reportedly script-doctoring big-budget blockbusters such as Speed
, this geeky scribe resurrected his bloodsucking Buffy
franchise by transforming it into a prime-time series in 1997 and creating the spin-off Angel
two years later. As the shows' creator, writer, producer and, in the case of a musical episode, songwriter, Whedon maintained complete creative control over his striking blend of dark fantasy and sharp humor. He took another one of his creations, Firefly
, on the opposite journey, turning the short-lived series into the movie Serenity
in 2005. Since then, Whedon has kept busy with projects in a variety of different mediums: he wrote issues of the comic-book series Runaways
, Astonishing X-Men
and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, cowrote the feature film Cabin in the Woods
, created the television show Dollhouse
and cowrote and directed an Internet musical called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" during the 2008 writer's strike. Whedon's work frequently centers on tough female protagonists and in real-life he is a feminist and avid supporter of the international human-rights organization Equality Now, which promotes equal rights for women.Joss Whedon Fast Facts:
- Began his writing career as a story editor for Rosanne in 1989.
- Third-generation TV writer behind his father and grandfather. His grandfather, originally a playwright, later wrote for sitcoms such as The Donna Reed Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show. His father was a television writer for Benson and The Golden Girls.
- As well as writing and directing, he also wrote all the songs for the classic musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Once More With Feeling," which were eventually released on CD.
- First acted on his TV show Angel, playing a demon called Numfar of the Deathwok Clan in the episode "Through the Looking Glass."
- Regards Stephen Sondheim as "the single most influential artist" in his life. What Sondheim says in his music and lyrics, Whedon says, "is the most honest, perceptive expression of the human experience I know."
- Is a feminist and an avid supporter of the international human-rights organization Equality Now, which promotes equal rights for women.
- Joss Whedon Relationships:
- Tom Whedon - Father
- Matthew Whedon - Brother
- Samuel Whedon - Brother
- John Whedon - Grandfather
- Kai Cole - Wife
- Arden Whedon - Son
- Jed Whedon - Brother
- Lee Stearns - Mother
- Squire Whedon - Daughter
- Zack Whedon - Brother
- Joss Whedon Awards:
- 2000 Emmy: Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series - Nominee
- 1995 Oscar: Best Writing (Original Screenplay) - Nominee
- 2009 Emmy: Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs - Winner
- Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (BA in Film Studies, 1987)