Joss Whedon
Birth Date:
June 23, 1964
Birth Place:
New York City, New York, USA
6' 4" (1.93 m)
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Buffy the Vampire Slayer


“Writers are completely out of touch with reality. Writers are a crazy person. We create conflict for a living. We do this all the time. Sometimes on a weekly basis we create horrible, incredible circumstances and then figure a way out of them. That's what we do.” Joss Whedon

Writer, director and producer Joss Whedon is widely known for creating the popular television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (The WB, 1997-2001; UPN, 2001-2003), which was adapted from his 1992 film of the same name. He received an Emmy nomination for his writing effort on the show. He also created the “Buffy” spin-off “Angel” (1999-2004) and the short lived series “Firefly” (2002-2003) and “Dollhouse” (2009-2010). Whedon made his film directing debut with “Serenity” (2005), based on his series “Firefly.” He has written several film scripts and shared an Academy Award nomination for his work on “Toy Story” (1995). He has also written several comic book series and web shows. He won a 2009 Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs for “Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog” (2008), which he co-created, executive produced, wrote and directed.

Whedon was the recipient of the 2000 Eyegore Award and PGA's Vanguard Award of 2010.

Whedon is the founder of Mutant Enemy Productions, a production company created in 1997 that produced “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2003). It has since produced the TV series “Angel,” “Firefly” and “Dollhouse” and the web series “Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.” The company has since ventured into producing features.

New York native Whedon currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Kai Cole, and their two children. He is an active supporter of gay rights.

Whedon Clan

Childhood and Family:

Joseph Hill Whedon, who would later popular as Joss Whedon, was born on June 23, 1964, in New York City, New York, to Tom Whedon, a TV writer and producer known for his work on shows like ABC's “Benson” (1979-1986) and NBC's “The Golden Girls” (1985-1992) and Lee Stearns, a high school teacher. Joss' grandfather was John Whedon, a sitcom writer in the 1950s and '60s on “The Donna Reed Show” (1958) and “Leave It to Beaver” (1957). He has two older brothers, Samuel and Matthew, and two younger brothers, screenwriter and musician Jed Whedon (born on July 18, 1974) and screenwriter Zack Whedon (born on August 14, 1979).

Joss’ parents divorced when he was nine years old and he continued to live with his father. He stayed with his mom and stepfather during summers. Joss attended the Riverdale Country School in Riverdale, N.Y., where his mother taught history, before moving to England in the early 1980s to study at Winchester College, a boarding school in Hampshire. It was there that he first became fascinated with comic books. After returning to the U.S., he studied film at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and got his degree in 1987. He then moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at screenwriting.

Joss is married to Kai Cole. The couple has a daughter named Arden Whedon (born on December 18, 2002) and a son named Squire Whedon.



After his move to Los Angeles, Joss Whedon became a story editor and writer on the ABC series “Roseanne” in 1989. After a year, he quit and served as a co-producer on the NBC short lived drama series “Parenthood” (1990), where he also wrote episodes. It was in 1992 that Whedon made the leap to motion pictures with his script for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which was directed by Fran Rubel Kuzui and starred Kristy Swanson as Buffy.

Whedon became a script doctor on several studio films. He did unaccredited rewrite work on Jan de Bont's blockbuster hit action thriller “Speed” (1994), starring Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves, and shared an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen for his rewrite on “Toy Story” (1995), a successful computer animated family film helmed by John Lasseter. The latter film also brought him a 1996 Annie for Best Individual Achievement: Writing and a Saturn nomination for Best Writing at the 1996 Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. He also helped rewrite the films “Gateway” (1994, directed by Roger Donaldson and starred Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger) and “Waterworld” (1995, directed by Kevin Reynolds and starred Kevin Costner).

In 1997, Whedon wrote the big budget science fiction film “Alien Resurrection,” which was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starred Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman and Dominique Pinon. The film received mixed reviews from critics but was a success at the box office. With a budget of $70 million, it grossed over $47 million in the domestic market and over $113 million overseas. It was also in 1997 that Whedon revived “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” for the television series of the same name. Debuting on The WB on March 10, 1997, the series was well received by critics and went on to achieve cult status. After five seasons, the show was moved to the UPN Network where it enjoyed two additional seasons before it ended in May 2003. Also writing episodes, Whedon collected an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and a Bram Stoker nomination for Best Screenplay for his work on the 1999 episode “Hush” and Nebula nominations for Best Script for the episodes “The Body” (2001) and “Once More, With Feeling” (2001). Whedon also directed the episodes (and others). After the success of “Buffy,” Whedon co-created, executive produced and wrote the spin-off series “Angel,” which ran on The WB Network from October 1999 to May 2004. The show starred David Boreanaz, Alexis Denisof and Charisma Carpenter. Whedon also directed seven episodes of the show.

Back to features, Whedon co-wrote “Titan A.E.,” a 2000 post-apocalyptic science fiction film co-directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman and starring Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo and Drew Barrymore. Although the film earned positive reviews from critics, it was a box office flop. However, the film has since become a cult hit. He also served as a co-writer on the Disney animated film “Atlantis: The Lost Empire” (2001).

In 2002, Whedon created the space western television series “Firefly,” which he also wrote and executive produced with Tim Menear. In addition, he directed three episodes, including the pilot. Set in the year 2517 and following the adventures of the renegade squad of the spaceship Serenity, the show debuted on the Fox network on September 20, 2002, but was canceled three months later. Despite its comparatively short duration, the show earned a 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series and enjoyed significant sales when it was released on DVD. The cast included Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres, Alan Tudyk, Morena Baccarin and Adam Baldwin.

Three years later, Whedon wrote and directed “Serenity,” which was based on his TV series “Firefly.” Released on September 30, 2005, the film version earned primarily positive reviews from critics and opened at No. 2 at the box office with a $10.1 million weekend gross. It continued to collect over $25 million at the domestic market and over $13 million elsewhere for a worldwide gross of over $38 million. The budget of the film was $39 million. “Serenity” won four awards, including a 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form, and a Nebula Award for Best Script from the 2006 Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Also in 2005, Whedon embarked on the world of online entertainment by releasing a series of short videos called “R. Tam sessions,” which starred Whedon and Summer Glau. It was followed by “Sugarshock” in 2007, a free web comic written by Whedon and illustrated by Fabio Moon. It won a 2008 Eisner Award for Best Digital Comic. He then collaborated with his brothers Zack and Jed and Maurissa Tancharoen to create the musical superhero parody “Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog” in 2008. Airing on the Internet in July 2008, the show starred Neil Patrick Harris, Felicia Day, Nathan Fillion and Simon Helberg and won a 2009 Emmy for Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs, which Wheldon shared with producers Michael Boretz and David M. Burns. The show also picked up a People's Choice Award for Favorite Online Sensation and a Hugo nomination for Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form.

On television, Whedon directed two episodes of the series “The Office” (2007). In 2009, he created and executive produced the science fiction series “Dollhouse,” starring Eliza Dushku, Harry Lennix, Fran Kranz, Tahmoh Penikett, Enver Gjokaj, Dichen Lachman and Olivia Williams. It ran on Fox from February 13, 2009, to January 29, 2010. Whedon also directed the episodes “Ghost,” “Echo” and “Vows.” Whedon also wrote the script of the horror film “The Cabin in the Woods” with director Drew Goddard. The production began in March 2009 and was scheduled to be released on February 5, 2010. However, it has since been postponed and is rescheduled for a January 14, 2011 release. Whedon also serves as producer on the film and will write and direct the upcoming movie “Goners” (2011) for producers Mary Parent and Scott Stuber.

Adding to his TV, film and online work, Whedon has written a string of comic books, including Dark Horse Comics' “Fray” (2001-2003), which is a futuristic spin off of the television series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Serenity: Those Left Behind” (2005) and “Serenity: Better Days” (2008, co-written with Brett Matthews), Marvel Comics' “Astonishing X-Men” (2004-2008) and “Runaways” (as second writer). Like many authors from the “Buffy” TV show, Whedon also contributed to the show's comic book series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight,” which he produced.


  • PGA: Vanguard Award, 2010

  • Emmy: Outstanding Special Class - Short-Format Live-Action Entertainment Programs, “Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog,” 2009

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America: Nebula Award, Best Script, “Serenity,” 2006

  • Eyegore Award: 2000

  • Annie: Best Individual Achievement: Writing, “Toy Story,” 1996

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