I am independent writer-producer of original and adapted motion picture and television properties and on-camera personality best known for film and television documentaries, including I KNOW THAT VOICE, PICTURE PERFECT: THE MAKING OF SLEEPING BEAUTY, and THE STORY OF THE BOYS REPUBLIC, network series and specials including E! MYSTERIES & SCANDALS, and top-rated programs for ABC, NBC, PBS, and Tribune Broadcasting. Currently, I have an animated feature in development on which I am serving a producer, THE KNIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, based on original screenplay by Gary Theroux. As founder and CEO of my own company, Sandcastle Entertainment, which specializes in developing original properties for film and television, including book-to-screen adaptations, original screenplays and teleplays, live-action and animated television series, and original branded characters for animation. I have multiple other feature films in the pipeline: HOME SWEET HOMELESS, an uplifting holiday drama; PEEKABOO, a film-noir style bio-pic of famed "peekaboo" actress Veronica Lake based on my authorized biography of her; a riveting inspirational drama adapted from author John Paul Carinci's acclaimed novel of the same name, DEFYING DEATH IN HAGERSTOWN; a tour-de-force romantic comedy-adventure with an international flavor, LOVE IS IN THE BAG: and a heartwarming, family-friendly animated adventure loosely based on author Roe De Pinto's popular children's book series, ZEALY AND WHUBBA: THE ADVENTURES BEGIN.
I broke into the business writing, producing, and directing various short films. I trained as a screenwriter under a Directors Guild of America-sponsored protégé of Academy Award-winning film director Arthur Hiller and director Richard Donner and began my career as story writer for Hanna-Barbera Productions on original series produced for Saturday morning television and as a staff writer of the pilot for the comedy-variety series, The Carmen Santa Maria Show. Thereafter, I honed his talent on Top 20 Nielsen-rated programs for television, including NBC’s TV's Greatest Commercials, hosted by Dick Clark, and ABC’s Hollywood's Private Home Movies, hosted by Emmy award-winning comedian Bill Cosby. He then worked as an executive producer of Tribune Broadcasting’s The Three Stooges: A Celebration, an hour-long tribute to this world-famous comedy trio, and alongside Emmy Award-winning documentary producer, Don Bresnahan, in producing original documentaries, including and the highly acclaimed The Story of the Boys Republic for PBS. In the 1990s, I served as an adviser to Cartoon Network on its advisory board, with legends William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Friz Freleng, June Foray, and Don Messick, in the development and acquisition of its on-air programming, including series and specials.
In addition I am a prolific, award-winning author of 35 books, including 18 acclaimed celebrity memoirs and biographies, two national bestsellers, and original fiction nominated for numerous awards and translated into numerous languages. They include the autobiography of actor Lorenzo Lamas, Renegade at Heart; the eight-book Legends of Animation series featuring biographies of Tex Avery, Walt Disney, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Matt Groening, Walter Lantz, John Lasseter, Hayao Miyazaki, and Genndy Tartakovsky; How to Make a Million Dollars With Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying) with radio/TV legend Gary Owens; All the Gold In California and Other People, Places & Things with Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Larry Gatlin; Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake, the only authorized biography of her; Dudley Moore: An Informal Biography; Dustin Hoffman: Hollywood's Antihero; and Steve Martin: An Unauthorized Biography.
As a nationally recognized authority on cartoon animation, I have written seven other books about the history of this lively art. They include The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, the most comprehensive reference ever produced and now in a third edition; Who's Who in Animated Cartoons, the first international guide to 300 award-winning and legendary animators; The Great Cartoon Directors; and two editions of The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoon Series.
Likewise, as a leading expert on the Three Stooges comedy team (and only author-historian who was close and personal friend Stooges Moe Howard and Larry Fine and latter-day additions Joe Besser and Joe DeRita, I am the co-author of two books about this wacky comedy trio: The Three Stooges Scrapbook, the official, authorized history, and Once A Stooge, Always A Stooge, the autobiography of Three Stooges member Joe Besser. In 1983, along with radio-TV legend Gary Owens and his twin brother Greg, he spearheaded a nationwide write-in campaign that earned the Stooges their long overdue star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
I have also authored numerous popular references: Career Opportunities in Animation, a guide to a career in film, television, and games animation; two editions of The Facts On File Guide to Research, the most comprehensive guide ever written on the subject of writing and research; and Baseball's All-Star Game, a definitive game-by-game history of baseball's mid-summer classic, as a novelist two works fiction: a Hollywood "whodunit," Scared to Death: A Lori Matrix Hollywood Mystery, and a second novel currently in the works, Deadly Innocence.
I have been featured on more than 100 major-market radio and television programs around the world, including BBC Live, CBS Evening News, NBC's Today Show, Entertainment Tonight, CNN's Showbiz Today, and The Dennis Miller Show, and major magazines and newspapers, including USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
DEFYING DEATH IN HAGERSTOWN BY JEFF LENBURG AND JOHN PAUL CARINCI Drama (OPTIONED BY SADDLEHORN PRODUCTIONS) A heartbroken, disillusioned newspaper reporter assigned to interview the oldest living American uncovers an unsolved triple murder, using the woman's diary from 1923 in his search for clues to solve the 90-year-old "cold case" while defying multiple attempts on his life in this adaptation of author John Paul Carinci’s acclaimed novel, inspired by a true story.
PEEKABOO Biography A troubled actress seeks to escape from the torment of her afflictions and love-hate relationship with her dominating mother whose love isn't enough to save her in the end in this true story that made national headlines, based on author Jeff Lenburg's authorized biography, Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake.
ZEALY AND WHUBBA: THE ADVENTURES BEGIN Animation (AVAILABLE FROM LEE LEVINSON FOR SALE AND DEVELOPMENT) A predator killer Orca Whale rescues his closest friend and companion, a sweet-hearted Harp Seal, from her captors while cracking an illegal seal trapping operation and returning to the Homecoming of a lifetime in this heartwarming, family-friendly animated adventure-comedy loosely based on author Roe De Pinto's award-winning children's book series.
The Knight Before Christmas
Film (Animation) Co-Producer As the clock ticks down, a young brother and sister join a gang of nutty elves to help Santa search for the magic hat he needs to launch himself and his sleigh at midnight on Christmas Eve.
I Know That Voice
Documentary by Lawrence Shapiro (Documentary) Self Filmmaker Lawrence Shapiro discusses voice-over acting with the talented people behind the characters.
CBS Evening News with Katie Couric
Series (News) Self - Cartoon Historian Flintstones 50th Anniversary (Sep 30, 2010) Interview.
Picture Perfect: The Making of Sleeping Beauty
Video (Documentary) Self Artists, collaborators, and historians past and present reflect on the making of one of Walt Disney's masterpieces, and how no animated film has been able to top this perfectionist art style since.
The Pat McMahon Show
Series (Talk-Show) Self Oct 4, 2004, first of two appearance discussing his new book with legendary announcer Gary Owens, "How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying)."
The Pat McMahon Show
Series (Talk-Show) Self Oct 7, 2004, second of two appearance discussing his new book with legendary announcer Gary Owens, "How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying)."
Good Morning Arizona
Series (Talk-Show) Self Live on-camera interview with author Jeff Lenburg about the surging popularity of animated cartoons and his updated of the definitive history of this lively art, "The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, Second Edition."
E! Mysteries & Scandales
Series by E! Entertainment Television (Documentary) Self May 3, 1999 documentary exploring the tragic life of screen actress Veronica Lake, partially based on author Jeff Lenburg's authorized biography, "Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake."
Series by TBS (Talk-Show) Self May 3, 1993 appearance on the subject of animated cartoons and author Jeff Lenburg's latest history, "The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons."
Hollywood's Private Home Movies
TV Movie (History) Miscellaneous Crew
Eye on L.A.
Series by ABC Television/Lou DeCosta (Talk-Show) Self Oct 1, 1983 interview with award-winning celebrity biographer Jeff Lenburg discussing his latest authorized biography, "Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake."
Series by Paramount Television (News) Self Aug 8, 1983 story about the publication of author Jeff Lenburg's shocking new authorized biography, "Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake."
A.M. Los Angeles
Series by KABC, Los Angeles (Talk-Show) Self Aug 1, 1983 live guest appearance discussing the life and times of screen actress Veronica Lake based on publication of celebrity biographer's new book, "Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake."
Television's Greatest Commercials
TV Movie (Comedy) Miscellaneous Crew