Aug 24, 2020
John Jay Osborn, Jr., is perhaps best known for his 1971 novel The Paper Chase, which was made into an Oscar-winning movie starring John Houseman (with whom John became friends). The book was based on John's experiences at Harvard Law School and centers on James T. Hart, a bright, ambitious, first-year student trying to balance his studies and tumultuous personal life. The book sold well and the film was a success, but John never abandoned the law.
The Papers Chase, nevertheless, led to John spending 15 years in Hollywood as a scriptwriter and advisor. He worked on the TV adaptation of The Paper Chase as well as shows such as L.A. Law and Spencer for Hire. He also was the creator of the show The Associates, based on his second novel. In 2018, after a long hiatus, John published a novel about a troubled relationship called Listen to the Marriage. That book, too, is being made into a movie.
John talks with Colin about his roots in New York, the Osborn family's flight to California, writing The Paper Chase, and his adventures in (and frustrations with) Hollywood.