Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal

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Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal
Born Naomi Achs
(1946-03-04) March 4, 1946 (age 72)
New York City, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Barnard College (B.A.)
Columbia University (M.A.)
Occupation Screenwriter, director
Eric Foner
(m. 1965; div. 1977)

Stephen Gyllenhaal
(m. 1977; div. 2009)
Children Maggie Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal

Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (née Achs; born March 4, 1946) is an American screenwriter and director.

Early life and education

Gyllenhaal was born in New York City, the daughter of doctors Ruth (née Silbowitz; 1920–1968) and Samuel Achs (1919–2014). Her parents were both of Jewish ancestry.[1][2][3][4] Her aunt was Freda (Silbowitz) Hertz (1915–2013), a lawyer.[5][6][7] She was raised in a family of "high-achieving New York Jews."[8][9][10] Her grandparents immigrated from Eastern Europe (Russia and Poland).[11][12][13]

She attended Barnard College in New York City, graduating with a BA degree in English. She later earned an MA degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University.


She has written the screenplays for several feature films, including Running on Empty (for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and won a Golden Globe Award for the same category), Losing Isaiah, and most recently Bee Season. She was the Naomi referenced in the line "...what about Naomi?" at the end of each Love of Chair segment of The Electric Company, where she was an associate producer for two seasons.

In 2013, she made her directorial debut with Very Good Girls, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival before attaining online and theatrical distribution in the U.S. with Tribeca Film. She has collaborated on a script for an American-Chinese co-production titled Moon Flower of Flying Tigers[14] co-produced by Ann An and Paula Wagner[15] and based upon the book by Gao Demin.[16]

Personal life

Naomi Gyllenhaal's first husband was Eric Foner, a historian and Columbia University professor, whom she married in 1965 and divorced in 1977.[17] Her second husband was film director Stephen Gyllenhaal, whom she married in 1977 and from whom she was divorced in 2009.[18] They have collaborated professionally and have two children together, actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal.


  1. ^ Josephs, Susan (November 10, 2005). "'Bee' Spells Family D-y-s-f-u-n-c-t-i-o-n-a-l". Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Schleier, Curt (July 24, 2014). "Naomi Foner on 'Very Good Girls' and Her Famous Children". The Forward. Retrieved May 21, 2018. Naomi Foner: "I certainly think of myself as Jewish and I tried to bring up my children think of themselves as Jews."
  3. ^ Pfefferman, Naomi (July 23, 2014). "Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in SundanceTV's "The Honorable Woman"". Jewish Journal. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  4. ^ Klug, Lisa (August 15, 2015). "The year of Jake Gyllenhaal". The Times of Israel. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  5. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths ACHS, ROBERT". The New York Times. 2005-07-03. Retrieved 2009-12-12.
  6. ^ "DR. RUTH ACHS, 48, PEDIATRICIAN,DIES". The New York Times. 1968-09-29. Retrieved 2009-12-12.
  7. ^ Freda Silbowitz Obituary retrieved 3/8/2015
  8. ^ Vaucher, Andréa R. (October 31, 2004). "Writing Her Way Back to the Family Business". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  9. ^ "A New York Times Sponsored Archive: Bee Season". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Bloom, Nate (October 20, 2011). "Jewish Stars". Cleveland Jewish News. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  11. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PBS, April 22, 2012
  12. ^ Christie, Janet (June 22, 2014). "Maggie Gyllenhaal: Acting for self-discovery". The Scotsman. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  13. ^ Gilbert, Gerard (July 2, 2014). "Maggie Gyllenhaal on her new role in BBC2 spy drama The Honourable Woman". The Independent. Retrieved April 24, 2018.
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Contemporary Authors New Revision Series: A Bio-Bibliographical Guide to ... - Linda Metzger, Deborah Straub, Peter M. Gareffa - Google Books
  18. ^ Jake Gyllenhaal Opens Up About His Parents' Divorce

External links

  • Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal on IMDb
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