Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (born Naomi Achs; March 4, 1946) is an American screenwriter and director.

Life and career

Gyllenhaal was born in New York City , the daughter of doctors Ruth (born Silbowitz) (1920-1968) and Samuel Achs (1919-2014). Her aunt was Freda (Silbowitz) Hertz (1915–2013), a lawyer.[1][2][3] She was raised in a family of "high-achieving New York Jews".[4] Her grandparents immigrated from Eastern Europe (Russia and Poland).[5] She attended Barnard College in New York City, graduating with a BA degree in English. She later earned an MA degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University. She has written the screenplays for several feature films, including Running on Empty (for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay and won a Golden Globe Award for the same category), Losing Isaiah, and most recently Bee Season. She was the Naomi referenced in the line "...what about Naomi?" at the end of each Love of Chair segment of The Electric Company, where she was an associate producer for two seasons. In 2013, she made her directorial debut with Very Good Girls, starring Dakota Fanning and Elizabeth Olsen, which premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival before attaining online and theatrical distribution in the U.S. with Tribeca Film. She is currently collaborating on a script for an American-Chinese co-production titled Moon Flower and the Flying Tigers.

Personal life

Naomi Gyllenhaal's first husband was Eric Foner, a historian and Columbia University professor. Her second husband was film director Stephen Gyllenhaal. They have collaborated professionally and have two children together, actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal.


  1. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths ACHS, ROBERT". The New York Times. 2005-07-03. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  2. ^ "DR. RUTH ACHS, 48, PEDIATRICIAN,DIES". The New York Times. 1968-09-29. Retrieved 2009-12-12. 
  3. ^ Freda Silbowitz Obituary retrieved 3/8/2015
  4. ^ "A New York Times Sponsored Archive: Bee Season". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ Stated on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PBS, April 22, 2012

External links