John Ridley

John Ridley Headshot

Writer • Director • Producer

Birth Date: October 1, 1964

Age: 59 years old

Birth Place: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

African-American writer, director, and producer John Ridley gained popularity from being involved in several high profile television shows and films, most notably the Academy Award-winning drama, "12 Years a Slave" (2013). Ridley was born in 1965 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He first started off as a writer for the hit sitcoms "Martin" (Fox 1992-97) and "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (NBC 1990-96), after which he served as both a writer and co-producer of the critically-acclaimed "The John Larroquette Show" (NBC 1993-96). Audiences next saw Ridley's first foray into feature films, "Cold Around the Heart" (1997) which starred David Caruso and Chris Noth. Ridley then wrote a script about American soldiers out to look for gold bullion at the end of the Persian Gulf War, which director David O. Russell adapted into the film "Three Kings" (1999), starring George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg, reportedly without using any of Ridley's original script, which caused a feud between writer and director. Ridley continued to write for television, including his own original series "Platinum" (UPN 2003), the film adaptation "Barbershop" (Showtime 2005) and "The Wanda Sykes Show" (Fox 2009-2010); he also served as executive producer of the latter two shows. Ridley's career reached new heights when he was tasked to write the screenplay for "12 Years a Slave," a film adaptation of Solomon Northup's memoir that chronicled the story of how he was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the mid-19th century. The film was universally praised by critics and Ridley himself garnered numerous awards, including Best Adapted Screenplay at the 86th Academy Awards. Ridley made his directorial debut the following year with "Jimi: All Is By My Side" (2014), a film starring Andre Benjamin of the hip hop duo Outkast as rock legend Jimi Hendrix, portraying him in 1966 just prior to his international breakthrough. Despite critical acclaim for Benjamin's performance, the film was met with general disinterest at the box office. Ridley next made the move into television, creating and producing the drama "American Crime" (ABC 2015- ), which follows the repercussions of a single crime throughout an entire season.

Credits

ShirleyStream

Director
Movie
2024
73%

ShirleyStream

Producer
Movie
2024
73%

ShirleyStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2024
73%

Five Days at MemorialStream

Executive Producer
Series
2022
88%

Needle in a Timestack

Director
Movie
2021

Needle in a Timestack

Screenwriter
Movie
2021

Godfather of HarlemStream

Director
Series
2019

Godfather of Harlem: Extras

Director
Show
2019

GuerrillaStream

Executive Producer
Series
2017
75%

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992

Director
Movie
2017

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992

Producer
Movie
2017

Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992

Writer
Movie
2017

Ben-Hur

Executive Producer
Movie
2016

Ben-Hur

Screenwriter
Movie
2016

Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter

Guest
Show
2015

American CrimeStream

Director
Series
2015
96%

American CrimeStream

Executive Producer
Series
2015
96%

American CrimeStream

Writer
Series
2015
96%

The Rich Eisen Show

Guest
Show
2014

Take Part Live

Guest
Show
2013

The Real

Guest
Talk
2013

12 Years a SlaveStream

Executive Producer
Movie
2013
95%

12 Years a SlaveStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2013
95%

Jimi: All Is by My Side

Director
Movie
2013

Jimi: All Is by My Side

Executive Producer
Movie
2013

Jimi: All Is by My Side

Screenwriter
Movie
2013

Just Seen It

Guest
Show
2012

Red TailsStream

Screenwriter
Movie
2012
40%

On Story

Guest
Show
2011

Phunny Business: A Black Comedy

Narrator
Movie
2010

Barbershop

Executive Producer
Show
2005

Tavis Smiley

Guest
Talk
2004

Platinum

Director
Series
2003

Platinum

Executive Producer
Series
2003

Platinum

Writer
Series
2003

Real Time With Bill MaherStream

Guest
Talk
2003

Those Who Walk in Darkness

Writer
Movie
2003

Undercover Brother

Executive Producer
Movie
2002

Undercover Brother

Screenwriter
Movie
2002

Undercover Brother

Writer (Story)
Movie
2002

Three KingsStream

Writer
Movie
1999
94%

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

U-Turn

Executive Producer
Movie
1997

U-Turn

Screenwriter
Movie
1997

Cold Around the Heart

Director
Movie
1997

Cold Around the Heart

Writer
Movie
1997

The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirStream

Guest Star
Series
1990

Good Morning America

Guest
News
1975

News aboutJohn Ridley