Carl Gottlieb
Carl Gottlieb is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

, actor, comedian and executive. He is probably best known for co-writing the screenplay for Jaws
Jaws (film)
Jaws is a 1975 American horror-thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. In the story, the police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating great white shark by closing the beach,...

, as well as directing the 1981 low-budget cult film Caveman
Caveman (film)
Caveman is a 1981 American slapstick comedy film written and directed by Carl Gottlieb and starring Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid, Shelley Long and Barbara Bach.-Plot:...


Early life

Gottlieb was born in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, to Jewish parents: the son of Elizabeth, a medical administrative assistant, and Sergius M. Gottlieb, an engineer.
After studying drama at Syracuse University
Syracuse University
Syracuse University is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York, United States. Its roots can be traced back to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1832, which also later founded Genesee College...

, he became a member, in the 1960s, of the San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

 improvisational comedy troupe "The Committee". They made one feature film: A Session with the Committee.


He began writing comedy for TV, contributing to The Bob Newhart Show
The Bob Newhart Show
The Bob Newhart Show is an American situation comedy produced by MTM Enterprises, which aired 142 original episodes on CBS from September 16, , to April 1, . Comedian Bob Newhart portrayed a psychologist having to deal with his patients and fellow office workers...

, All in the Family
All in the Family
All in the Family is an American sitcom that was originally broadcast on the CBS television network from January 12, 1971, to April 8, 1979. In September 1979, a new show, Archie Bunker's Place, picked up where All in the Family had ended...

, and The Odd Couple
The Odd Couple (TV series)
The Odd Couple is a television situation comedy broadcast from September 24, 1970 to July 4, 1975 on ABC. It starred Tony Randall as Felix Unger and Jack Klugman as Oscar Madison. It was based upon the play of the same name, which was written by Neil Simon.Felix and Oscar are two divorced men....

. Minor acting roles have included Robert Altman
Robert Altman
Robert Bernard Altman was an American film director and screenwriter known for making films that are highly naturalistic, but with a stylized perspective. In 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognized his body of work with an Academy Honorary Award.His films MASH , McCabe and...

's M*A*S*H
MASH (film)
MASH is a 1970 American satirical dark comedy film directed by Robert Altman and written by Ring Lardner, Jr., based on Richard Hooker's novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. It is the only feature film in the M*A*S*H franchise...

and the film Clueless.

Gottlieb also cowrote David Crosby's two autobiographies, 1989's "Long time Gone" and 2006's "Since Then".


Gottlieb was hired as an actor to appear as Meadows, the editor of the local newspaper, in Jaws. He was hired by his friend, Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

, to redraft the script, adding more dimensions to the characters, particularly humour. Ironically, his redrafts reduced the role of Meadows (who still appears in the Town Hall corridor and the Tiger Shark scene).

He wrote a book, The Jaws Log, about the notoriously difficult production of the film. Bryan Singer
Bryan Singer
Bryan Singer is an American film director and film producer. Singer won critical acclaim for his work on The Usual Suspects, and is especially well-known among fans of the science fiction and superhero genres for his work on the X-Men films and Superman Returns.-Early life:Singer was born in New...

 has referred to it as being "like a little movie director bible".

He was also enlisted under similar circumstances to work on the Jaws 2
Jaws 2
Jaws 2 is a 1978 thriller film and the first sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws , which is based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name...

screenplay. He also co-wrote the screenplays for The Jerk and Jaws 3-D
Jaws 3-D
Jaws 3-D is a 1983 thriller film directed by Joe Alves and starring Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Lea Thompson and Louis Gossett, Jr...

. Gottlieb contributes to Jaws related activities, such as interviews (including the documentary The Shark Is Still Working
The Shark Is Still Working
The Shark is Still Working is a documentary film on the impact and legacy of the 1975 Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jaws. It features interviews with a range of cast and crew from the film. It is narrated by Roy Scheider and dedicated to Peter Benchley...

) and attended JawsFest on Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard is an island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, known for being an affluent summer colony....

 in June 2005.

Writers' politics

He joined the Writers Guild of America
Writers Guild of America
The Writers Guild of America is a generic term referring to the joint efforts of two different US labor unions:* The Writers Guild of America, East , representing TV and film writers East of the Mississippi....

 in 1968 after becoming interested in Guild politics and with a desire to serve fellow writers following writers' strikes in the 1970s and 1981. He ran for the Board of Directors in 1983, and was re-elected for numerous terms thereafter, including two stints as vice-president (1991–1994). He was again appointed VP of the Writers Guild of America, west in 2004 and served until the following year. In September 2011, he was elected as WGA-West
Writers Guild of America, west
Writers Guild of America, West is a labor union representing film, television, radio, and new media writers. The Guild was formed in 1954 from five organizations representing writers, which include the Screen Writers Guild...


External links

  • Fish Tales Screenwriter Carl Gottlieb plumbs the depths of his memory as he reminisces about his role in bringing Jaws to the screen.
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