Garner Simmons
Biographical Sketch

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Garner Simmons is a graduate of Colgate University (English/Fine Arts) and Northwestern University’s Graduate School of Communication. He has worked in both Television and Motion Pictures as a writer, producer and director.

Among his credits (see resume) are the feature films A Rare Breed, Miracle Landing, and uncredited work (8 outlines and 5 drafts) on a screenplay that eventually became The Last Samurai. In Television his credits include the dramatic series Falcon Crest, Yellow Rose, “V”, Spencer for Hire (uncredited creative consultant), Buck James, Wolf, and Poltergeist: The Legacy. He has written or rewritten over 200 episodes of television, movies-of-the-week, and miniseries, as well as numerous screenplays.

A published author, his biography on the late filmmaker Sam Peckinpah (PECKINPAH: A Portrait in Montage, University of Texas Press, 1982, Revised Ed. Amadeus/Limelight Editions, NY 1998) is still in print. He is also the author of numerous articles. Owing to a growing international reputation, Mr. Simmons was enlisted by FremantleMedia to help successfully make the case to the British Board of Censors persuading them to lift the 18 year ban imposed on Peckinpah’s controversial The Straw Dogs. He has served as a featured speaker at the retrospective of Peckinpah’s work presented by the Cineteca of the University of Bologna in Italy as well as the 2015 Locarno (Switzerland) Film Festival and New York’s Lincoln Center among others. As a member of The Dog Brothers (along with Paul Seydor, David O. Weddle, and Nick Redman) he has contributed to the DVD commentaries on twelve of Peckinpah’s fourteen feature films.

He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Writers Guild of Canada, the Directors Guild of America, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.  Most recently, his work was recognized by the 2016 WGAW Writer’s Access Project where his screenplay The Wall was selected from among more than 150 submissions. In 2015, Simmons won this same competition for his screenplay A Cool State of Blood.

From a family of writers, his brother John Galbraith Simmons is both a novelist and screenwriter as well as a critically acclaimed writer of non-fiction (The Scientific 100; Doctors and Discoveries, etc.) who divides his time between New York and Paris. His late sister, Mary Kay Simmons, was a published novelist and poet who lived in Dublin, Ireland before passing away in 2018.

He is married to the former Sheila McHugh, an educator and administrator of a school for Exceptionally Gifted Children. They have three grown sons and live in Los Angeles, California.

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