[TV] Paula Yoo (Writer on "West Wing")
- NEW VOICES AWARD 2003
Congratulations to the Winners of LEE & LOW BOOKS'
Fourth Annual NEW VOICES AWARD
We are proud to announce that PAULA YOO of Los Angeles, California,
is the winner of our New Voices Award for 2003. Her story, SIXTEEN
YEARS IN SIXTEEN SECONDSTHE STORY OF DR. SAMMY LEE, OLYMPIC GOLD
MEDALIST was inspired by the true story of Dr. Lee's hard work and
dedication that led to his place in history as the first Asian
American athlete to win a gold medal at the Olymipics.
Paula Yoo has a B.A. from Yale University, an M.S. in journalism
form Columbia University, and an M.F.A in creative writing from
Warren Wilson College. She has taught English at Glendale Community
College and taught violin to underprivileged children in South
Central, Los Angeles. Recently she was a staff writer during season
four of NBC's "The West Wing," and she currently writes for the new
FOX show "Tru Calling."
#408 - "Process Stories" - (Nov. 13, 2002)
teleplay: Aaron Sorkin, story: Paula Yoo & Lauren Schmidt, d:
As election night continues, Sam faces the probability that he will
have to run for the California 47th Congressional District seat. And
various couples celebrate the election victories.
#416 - "The California 47th" - (Feb. 19, 2003)
teleplay: Aaron Sorkin, story: Lauren Schmidt & Paula Yoo, d:
Bartlet and some of his staff goes out to California to campaign for
Sam. But the Republicans pick this time to announce their tax plan
and the President is caught since announcing his would "kill" Sam.
#504 - "Han" - (Oct. 22, 2003)
teleplay: Peter Noah, story: Peter Noah & Matt Goffman and Paula
Yoo, d: Christopher Misiano
A cultural exchange pianist from North Korea wants to defect as U.S.
officials think they are close to an important agreement with his
Tube: Juddernaut Suddenly Susan-less, Judd Nelson streaks ahead with
a string of movies and a laid-back outlook on life
( People ) Tom Gliatto Paula Yoo in Los Angeles; 10-18-1999
Step into Judd Nelson's modest two-bedroom Los Angeles ranch-style
house and the first thing you notice are the gargoyles, a half-dozen
of them, grimacing and glaring at you. "They say gargoyles protect
you from evil," muses Nelson, still most famous as a charter member
of the '80s Brat Pack. "Maybe I should've gotten more."
Nelson could have used their help last month. While he was out
walking his Staffordshire bull terrier, Tallulah Bighead, the dog
began chasing a squirrel, with owner in tow. "The squirrel lost his
tail, I got injured"--a torn tendon near his thumb--"and the dog
thought it was a victory," says Nelson, laughing.
Otherwise, the 39-year-old actor is the one feeling like a winner.
After a decade-long slump in films, Nelson made a comeback three
years ago as Brooke Shields's hyperkinetic editor, Jack Richmond, on
NBC's Suddenly Susan. Now, having amicably departed that sitcom last
spring, he has returned in an NBC-TV movie, Mr. Rock 'n' Roll: The
Alan Freed Story (Oct. 17), playing the '50s radio deejay and rock
pioneer whose career took a nosedive after he was accused of taking
money in return for pushing certain songs. Before those headlines,
though, Freed was best known for his on-air enthusiasm. And Nelson,
like Freed, "is incredibly energetic," says the movie's director,
Andy Wolk. "The kind of patter Freed had, Judd has. If he wasn't an
actor, he could have been a deejay, yapping all the time."
He has a lot to yap about. In the past year, Nelson has done seven
movies (including next month's Light It Up, in which he plays a
likable New York City high school teacher). "I now consider myself a
plow-horse actor," he says. "Strap that yoke on my neck." It's a far
cry from the boogie nights that regularly landed him in the
tabloids. Still single, he hasn't given up is love for R&B or Harley
Davidsons, but now he no longer wakes up, he says, and wonders, Why
was I singing sea chanteys on top of that car?"
"I think he has matured considerably," says his father, Leonard
Nelson, a prominent attorney in Portland, Maine. Leonard and his
wife, Merle, a court mediator in domestic cases and a former state
assemblywoman, raised Judd there with his two younger sisters, Eve,
37, a lawyer, and Julie Nelson Forsyth, 33, a businesswoman. A good
student and athlete at St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., Nelson
opted for Haverford College, outside Philadelphia, where "I took all
the philosophy courses I could and then left," he says, after two
That's because at college he had discovered his true passion:
theater. With his parents' blessing, Nelson moved to New York City
in 1980 to study acting; soon after, he left for .A. He made his
film debut in 1984's Making the Grade and then--along with the likes
of Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez--got tagged as a Brat Packer in
1985, first with The Breakfast Club and later St. Elmo's Fire. "Most
of us who were listed in this group," he says, amused, "didn't even
know each other."
After St. Elmo's, though, Nelson became well-known in nightclubs,
embarking on a high-profile social life that reportedly included
romance with then-Beverly Hills 90210 star Shannen Doherty. He
occasionally misbehaved. In 1987 he was fined $300 for disorderly
intoxication at a West Palm Beach, Fla., lounge. Onscreen, he played
dislikable characters in stinkers like 1986's Blue City and sleepers
like 1991's New Jack City.
Joining Suddenly Susan in 1996 "was actor camp for me," Nelson
says. "It was very light and airy and simple." But after the suicide
last March of costar David Strickland, Nelson no longer felt like
laughing. "David was the funniest person of the group," says
Nelson. "He was the mortar, and now we were just a group of bricks."
Media brickbats still come his way. Nelson shrugs off tabloid
reports, including one about a spat he allegedly had in September
with now ex-girlfriend Kelly Stafford. Besides, Nelson, who's
currently unattached, says his brawling days are behind him. A
Muhammad Ali fan--proudly, Nelson displays the fighter's gloves in a
glass case in his home--he regards show business as "a boxing match
with endless rounds. In some, you take a hellacious beating. In
others, you're almost down but you gotta get back up. The guys are
snapping their towels at you. And," he concludes, "you get up."
--Paula Yoo in Los Angeles