Leslie Dixon

Leslie Dixon is an American screenwriter and film producer. She began her career as an original screenwriter, writing films such as 1987's Outrageous Fortune and Overboard. She then moved into adaptations and re-writes, developing the screenplays for: Mrs. Doubtfire, The Thomas Crown Affair, Pay It Forward, and Hairspray. She has also produced a variety of films, and the television series Limitless.

Leslie Dixon
New York, United States
Spouse(s)Tom Ropelewski
ChildrenThomas Ropelewski


Early lifeEdit

Leslie Dixon is the granddaughter of photographer Dorothea Lange and landscaper painter Maynard Dixon.[1] Dixon grew up in the California Bay Area.[2][3] At the age of 18, she was living alone in San Francisco without enough money to afford college. Once she realized that she wanted to pursue writing, she moved to Hollywood at the age of 26 with hopes of making her way into the film industry. Having no contacts within the industry, she began by working office jobs for several years and eventually landed a job as a script reader.[3] During her time as a script reader, she studied the scripts she was reading. She learned the structure of scripts, their layout on the page, the elements that were needed in order to make a script appealing and successful, and she recognized the types of scripts that gained the most attention from producers. This gave her insight into "what was and wasn’t being bought".[4] After a year of living in Hollywood, she wrote her first screenplay (written with an unknown co-writer).[5] Her partner got an agent attached to the piece, and after receiving two offers, it was sold to Columbia Pictures for $30,000.[4] However, the screenplay never made it to production.[3]


Her first solo screenplay was Outrageous Fortune (1987),[6] written for Shelley Long and Bette Midler.[1] The idea for the screenplay came at Robert Cort's request for a "female buddy film".[1] From 1987 to 1997, Dixon continued to write romantic comedies, including Overboard (1987), Loverboy (1989), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), and That Old Feeling (1997). She also wrote an adaptation for The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), a re-write from Alan Trustman's original screenplay in 1968, and then the drama Pay It Forward (2000) based on Catherine Ryan Hyde's 1999 novel of the same name. After reading Alan Glynn's The Dark Fields, she wrote Limitless (2011).

In 2004, Dixon was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Writing for her Freaky Friday (2003) screenplay.

Personal lifeEdit

She is married to fellow screenwriter, producer and director Tom Ropelewski.[2] Their son was born January 16, 1996.[7] They reside in Beverly Hills, California.[2]


Feature FilmsEdit

Year Title Credit
1987 Outrageous Fortune Writer
Overboard Writer
1989 Loverboy Co-Writer, Producer
1990 Madhouse Producer
1993 Look Who's Talking Now Executive Producer
Mrs. Doubtfire Writer
1997 That Old Feeling Writer, Producer
1999 The Thomas Crown Affair Writer (re-write)
2000 Pay It Forward Writer
The Next Best Thing Producer
2003 Freaky Friday Writer
2005 Just Like Heaven Writer
2007 Hairspray Writer (re-write)
The Heartbreak Kid Writer
2011 Limitless Writer, Producer
2014 Gone Girl Executive Producer
2018 Overboard Screenplay by / story by

TV ShowsEdit

Year Title Credit
2012-2013 The 85th Annual Academy Awards Writer
2015-2016 Limitless Co-executive Producer


  1. ^ a b c McCreadie, Marsha. Women Screenwriters Today: Their Lives and Words. Westport, CT: Praeger, 2006. 44-47. Print.
  2. ^ a b c Leslie Dixon and Tom Ropelewski List Beverly Hills House for $8.995 Million (Exclusive), The Hollywood Reporter, 6/12/2014
  3. ^ a b c Nelmes, Jill, and Jule Selbo. Women Screenwriters: An International Guide. N.p.: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 778-79. Print.
  4. ^ a b "Screenwriter / Producer Interview: Leslie Dixon ("Limitless") Part 1". Make Your Story a Movie: Adapting Your Book or Story for Hollywood. Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  5. ^ Smith, S. 2011. ‘Leslie Dixon’s First Script Sale’. Available at: http://screenwritingfromiowa[permanent dead link]. wordpress.com/2011/12/17/leslie-dixons-first-script-sale/
  6. ^ Nickell, K. 2008. ‘Interview: Pay It Forward’s Leslie Dixon’, Writer’s Digest. Available at: http:// www.writersdigest.com/writing-articles/by-writing-genre/script-riting/interview_pay_it_ forwards_leslie_dixon
  7. ^ Staff, Hollywood.com. "Leslie Dixon | Biography and Filmography". Hollywood.com. Retrieved 2016-03-28.

External linksEdit