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Robert Harling Email & Phone Number

American writer and film producer


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About Robert Harling

📖 Summary

Robert Harling is an American writer and film producer best known for his work in creating the play and subsequent film adaptation of "Steel Magnolias." Born in Dothan, Alabama in 1951, Harling's Southern upbringing heavily influenced his writing, particularly in his portrayal of strong, complex female characters in his works. After studying journalism at Northwestern University, Harling worked in public relations before pursuing a career in writing and producing.

Harling's most enduring work, "Steel Magnolias," was inspired by the tragic death of his sister, Susan, who passed away from diabetic complications at the young age of 33. The play, which premiered Off-Broadway in 1987, is set in a small Louisiana town and revolves around a group of women who bond and support each other through life's trials and tribulations. The play was later adapted into a highly successful film in 1989, featuring an all-star cast including Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, and Julia Roberts.

In addition to "Steel Magnolias," Harling has also worked on various film projects, including writing the screenplays for "Soapdish" (1991) and "The First Wives Club" (1996), both of which received critical acclaim and commercial success. Harling's ability to craft sharp, witty dialogue and delve into the intricacies of female relationships has made him a sought-after writer in Hollywood. His works often explore themes of friendship, love, loss, and resilience, and he is known for infusing his scripts with humor and heart.

Harling's talent for creating multidimensional characters and compelling narratives has earned him a reputation as a respected writer and producer in the entertainment industry. He has demonstrated a keen understanding of human emotions and motivations, which is evident in the enduring appeal of his works. His ability to authentically capture the essence of Southern culture and storytelling has endeared him to audiences and critics alike, making him a distinctive voice in American cinema.

Beyond his success in the film industry, Harling is also an advocate for diabetes awareness and research, following his personal experience with his sister's tragic passing. He has used his platform to raise awareness about the disease and has been involved in various charitable initiatives to support those affected by diabetes. Harling's philanthropic efforts have further solidified his reputation as a compassionate and socially conscious artist.

In summary, Robert Harling is a prolific American writer and film producer whose work has left an indelible mark on popular culture. His ability to create compelling stories and memorable characters has made him a significant figure in the entertainment industry. Through his poignant and humorous explorations of the human experience, he has resonated with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Additionally, his advocacy for diabetes awareness demonstrates his commitment to using his platform for positive change. Robert Harling's enduring contributions to film and storytelling continue to captivate and inspire audiences worldwide.


Frequently Asked Questions about Robert Harling

Why did Robert Harling write Steel Magnolias?

The play is based on the family experience of the death of author Robert Harling's sister, Susan Harling-Robinson, in 1985 from diabetic complications after the birth of his namesake nephew and the failure of a family-member-donated kidney.


Did Susan Harlings husband remarry?

Susan's husband remarried not long after her death, and her then 2-year-old son began calling his new stepmother “Mama.” Harling was fearful that his loving, selfless sister Susan would soon be forgotten by his little nephew.Jan 27, 2020


Who is the real Shelby from Steel Magnolias?

Robert Harling based the story in part on his sister, Susan Harling Robinson. She died in 1985 of complications from Type 1 diabetes. In the film, Julia Roberts plays Shelby, the character based on Susan.


Is Steel Magnolias based off a true story?

'Steel Magnolias' was based on a true story Actor and writer Robert Harling wrote the play based on the true story of his sister, Susan Harling Robinson, who died from complications with diabetes.Apr 11, 2023


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