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Vince Gilligan Biography


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Birth Name: Vince Gilligan
Born: 02/10/1967
Birth Place: Richmond, Virginia, USA


Born Feb. 10, 1967 in Richmond, VA, Gilligan earned a degree in film production from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. His first positive notices came in 1989 when his original script for "Home Fries" won the Governor's Screenwriting Award in his home state. The picture itself, a romantic comedy, would take some nine years to make it to the screen with Drew Barrymore and Luke Wilson in the leads. In 1993, Gilligan's script for "Wilder Napalm," a comedy-fantasy about pyrokinetic brothers who fall in love with the same woman, was produced in 1993 with Dennis Quaid, Debra Winger and Arliss Howard in the leads.

Gilligan's big break came two years later when he joined "The X-Files" as a creative consultant and contributing writer at the peak of the show's power in 1995. Among the 30 scripts he wrote or co-wrote for the show were such critical and fan favorites as "Small Potatoes," in which a man with the ability to change his appearance assumes Agent Fox Mulder's (David Duchovny) visage to romance his partner, Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson); he also shared credit for the show's highest-rated episode, "Leonard Betts" and the emotionally affecting "Memento Mori," which launched a subplot involving Scully's bout with cancer. Gilligan became an executive producer on "The X-Files" in 1997, and signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with Fox to develop new television series through "X-Files" creator Chris Carter's production company, Ten Thirteen.

To that end, he served as consulting producer on Carter's "Harsh Realm" (Fox, 1999-2000) and executive producer on "The Lone Gunmen," an "X-Files" spin-off devoted to three recurring and wacky characters who provided Mulder and Scully with information about conspiracy theories. On the latter series, Gilligan also shared creator title with fellow "X-Files" producer-writer Frank Spotnitz, as well as the omnipresent Carter. Neither program could match "The X-Files" in terms of popularity, and Gilligan would continue his producer duties with that show until it ended its network run in 2002. Immediately afterwards, Gilligan joined Spotnitz on the writing staff for Michael Mann's "Robbery Homicide Division" and later penned a episode of his partner's revised version of "Night Stalker" (ABC, 2005). Again, neither show yielded a full season's worth of episodes.

Spotnitz and Gilligan teamed again for "A.M.P.E.D." (2007), a sci-fi/action series slated for Spike TV which never got beyond the pilot phase. Gilligan then struck out on his own with "Breaking Bad," a dark drama for the basic cable network AMC, which had already found success with "Mad Men" (2007- ). Gilligan served as the show's creator and executive producer as well as writer-director on the pilot episode. Positive response from critics and viewers was followed by four Emmy nominations and two wins, including one for Gilligan's direction for the pilot in 2008. It was also nominated as Outstanding New Program of the Year by the Television Critics Association, but lost to "Mad Men." Bryan Cranston, the show's lead, did, however, win an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama over Jon Hamm of "Mad Men," giving the show a push publicity-wise it might not have had otherwise. Gilligan's track record with television naturally led to opportunities to write feature films, and he revived his movie career in 2008 by sharing script credits for Will Smith's summer superhero flick, "Hancock." That same year, one of his early feature scripts, "2-Face," was launched with Will Ferrell in the lead as a comic who develops a distinct - and wildly opposite - personality for either side of his face.