Daniel Zelman
Birth Date:
May 20, 1905
Birth Place:
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Daniel Zelman is an American actor, screenwriter and television producer. He is probably known as the co-creator and executive producer of the FX drama series “Damages” (2007-?), from which he shared three Emmy nominations, a Writers Guild of America nomination and a PGA nomination. He also co-wrote the screenplay for “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid” (2004) and “Fool's Gold” (2008). Zelman started his showbiz career as an actor in the early 1990s before making transformation to writing and producing in early 2000s.

Zelman is the husband of actress Debra Messing. They have one son. The family currently live in New York.

Messing's Man

Childhood and Family:

Daniel Zelman was born on June 11, 1967, in Rye, New York. He is the brother of television producer and writer Aaron Zelman.

On September 3, 2000, Daniel married actress Debra Messing (born August 15, 1968). The couple met on their first day as graduate students at NYU in 1990. On April 7, 2004, his wife gave birth to their son, Roman Walker Zelman.

The Hunt for the Blood Orchid


Daniel Zelman began his career as an actor with a guest starring turn as Bruce in an episode of “Law & Order” called “Black Tie” (1993). He made his film acting debut in “Let It Be Me” (1995), a musical film starring Campbell Scott, Jennifer Beals, Yancy Butler, Leslie Caron, James Goodwin and Patrick Stewart, and was written and directed by Eleanor Bergstein. In the following year, Zelman played the small role of Josh in Michael Bergmann's comedy/romance film, “Milk & Money,” starring Robert Petkoff, Harsh Nayyar and Sarah Winkler, and landed a recurring role as Dave on the Fox sitcom “Ned and Stacey,” starring a then girlfriend Debra Messing.

Zelman was featured as prison spokesman in the based on true story made for television film “Prison of Secrets” (1997), starring Stephanie Zimbalist. The same year, he also appeared as a soldier in an episode of the USA Network popular series “Weird Science” called “I, Chettus.” He resurfaced three years later with a bit part in Robert Zemeckis' supernatural horror/thriller film “What Lies Beneath” (2000), which was a box office success despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, and a guest spot in “The Practice” (2000).

It was also in 2000 that Zelman made his writing debut with “They Nest,” a thriller/horror film starring Thomas Calabro, Dean Stockwell, John Savage and Kristen Dalton, and directed by Ellory Elkayem. The film broadcast on the USA network on July 25, 2000. Zelman also earned credit as co-producer.

In 2004, Zelman made his debut as screenwriter with the horror/thriller movie “Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid,” a sequel to the 1997 film “Anaconda.” Directed by Dwight H. Little and starring Johnny Messner, KaDee Strickland, Matthew Marsden, Salli Richardson and Morris Chestnut, the film gained mixed to negative reviews from critics, but was a success at the box office with a total of over $70.9 million worldwide. He went on to write the screenplay for the adventure/comedy film “Fool's Gold” (2008), with John Claflin and Andy Tennant, who also directed. The film starred Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson and Donald Sutherland.

Zelman's big breakthrough arrived with the television drama series “Damages,” which he created with brothers Todd A. Kessler and Glenn Kessler and executive produced. Starring Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan and Ted Danson, among other actors, the series premiered on the FX on July 24, 2007 and has received critical acclaim and a number of television awards. Zelman jointly nabbed three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (2008) and Outstanding Drama Series (2008, 2009), a Writers Guild of America nomination for New Series (2008) and a PGA nomination for Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama for his work on the show.

In 2010, Zelman made his directing debut with “Damages”'s episode, “It's Not My Birthday.”


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Celebrity Wedding Anniversary: Debra Messing and Daniel Zelman 3/9/2000
SP_COP - October 03, 2014 -
Messing met actor, screenwriter, TV producer and director, Zelman on their first day as graduate students at New York University back in 1990.Thy got engaged in 1998 after seven years of dating.They g...
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