Alfred Uhry

Playwright & Screenwriter


Alfred Uhry is an American playwright best known for the play and screenplay of Driving Miss Daisy. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Uhry graduated from Brown University. Mr. Uhry’s early work for the stage was as a lyricist and librettist for a number of largely unsuccessful musicals, including America’s Sweetheart about Al Capone and a revival of Little Johnny Jones starring Donny Osmond. His first major success was The Robber Bridegroom, a musical composed by Robert Waltman based on a novella by Eudora Welty. Mr. Uhry received his first Tony award nomination for this play. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the film Mystic Pizza, starring Julia Roberts.

Driving Miss Daisy is the first in what is known as his “Atlanta Trilogy” of plays, all set during the first half of the 20th century. The play earned him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It deals with the relationship between an elderly Jewish woman and her black chauffeur. He adapted it into the screenplay for a 1989 film starring Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman, an adaptation which was awarded the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. The second of the trilogy, The Last Night of Ballyhoo (1996), is set in 1939 during the premiere of the film Gone with the Wind. It deals with a Jewish family during an important social event. It was commissioned for the Cultural Olympiad in Atlanta which coincided with the 1996 Summer Olympics, and received the Tony Award for Best Play. The third in the trilogy is a 1998 musical called Parade, about the 1913 lynching of Jewish factory manager Leo Frank. The book for the play earned him a Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical.

Most recently, he wrote the book for the musical LoveMusik, which was produced on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club. He also was commissioned by MTC to adapt Marie Brenner’s best-selling memoir Apples & Oranges for the stage.