Neal Israel

Neal Israel (born July 27, 1945) is an American actor, screenwriter, film and television producer, and director best known for his comedic work in the 1980s for films such as Combat Academy, Real Genius, and Bachelor Party.

Neal Israel
Born (1945-07-27) July 27, 1945 (age 75)
OccupationDirector, producer, writer, actor
Years active1973–present
(m. 1979; div. 1980)

(m. 1984; div. 1990)



Raised in Manhattan in a Jewish family,[1] Israel started his career on the Broadway stage as assistant to legendary director George Abbott. After working at the New Dramatists Guild and the Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, he came to LA, and was an executive at both ABC and CBS. During this time he wrote and directed the break through indie hit Tunnel Vision, which introduced such future stars as Chevy Chase, John Candy and Al Franken.

On television, he wrote Ringo, a special that starred Ringo Starr and George Harrison. He then wrote with his partner, Pat Proft, the first Police Academy movie, which spawned six sequels. He directed and co-wrote Bachelor Party, which starred Tom Hanks. He followed this with the comedy Moving Violations. Real Genius, another of his scripts, was made into a successful film starring Val Kilmer, and in 1987, he produced the film Three O'Clock High. He also directed Breaking The Rules starring Jason Bateman and the cult classic Surf Ninjas with Rob Schneider and Leslie Nielsen.

Neal continues to work in both film and television as a writer, director, producer, and script doctor. He has directed numerous movies of the week, pilots, and episodes of shows such as The Wonder Years, Nash Bridges, Joan of Arcadia, and Even Stevens. Recent directing credits include Disney's Zeke and Luther and Kickin It. In 2004, he executive-produced the Academy Award-nominated film Finding Neverland, which starred Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.

In July 2017, Israel said he was working on a comedy with his longterm partner Pat Proft that will feature stars of the predominant comedic films of the '70s and '80s.[2]

Personal lifeEdit

His first marriage was to American singer/songwriter Lori Lieberman, but the two divorced in 1980.[3] After being hired by director Amy Heckerling to work on Johnny Dangerously, the two began a relationship and married in July 1984.[1] The couple divorced in 1990 after making Look Who's Talking Too together. Israel believed their daughter, Mollie, was biologically his until a DNA test showed she was the biological daughter of director Harold Ramis.[4][5]


As directorEdit

As producerEdit

As writerEdit

As actorEdit

As Special ThanksEdit

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Result Category Series
1981 Writers Guild of America Award Won Variety, Musical or Comedy All Commercials... A Steve Martin Special (Shared with Jeffrey Barron, Earl Brown, Carmen Finestra, Denny Johnston, Sean Kelly, Steve Martin, Pat McCormick, Michael McManus, Pat Proft, and Mason Williams)
2002 BAFTA Awards Nominated Best International Lizzie McGuire (Shared with Susan Estelle Jansen)


  1. ^ a b McMurran, Kristin (May 13, 1985). "Mixing Marriage and Movies Is a Mirthly Delight for Directors Amy Heckerling and Neal Israel". People. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  2. ^ "Episode 64: Drinking & Drive-Ins - Americathon". Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  3. ^ "California Divorce Index, 1966-1984". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Swartz, Tracy (April 18, 2018). "Mollie Heckerling revealed as Harold Ramis' daughter in new book". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Ramis Stiel, Violet (June 5, 2018). "The Story of Harold Ramis and Amy Heckerling's Secret Daughter". New York. Retrieved May 28, 2019.

External linksEdit