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Diana Ossana

While at Roosevelt, Ms. Ossana participated in the Student Council and Pepettes. She received Sophomore Honors and four Scholarship R’s. Her mother, Marian (Anyan) Ossana, attended Roosevelt High during World War II.

Diana Ossana is the first-generation daughter of an Italian immigrant and was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where she fostered her lifelong love of books and reading. Diana attended Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico, double majoring in English and Political Science. Diana began a legal career at one of the country’s most highly regarded law firms. She became an expert in trial preparation and played a significant role in precedent-setting litigation. Diana has published several short stories and essays. She raised her four foster children and her daughter Sara, and Diana remains active in animal rescue.

In 1992, at Larry McMurtry’s request, she left her twenty-year career in law to begin their writing collaboration. Their many collective works include two novels, Pretty Boy Floyd and Zeke and Ned, several essays, and over forty feature film scripts. Larry and Diana developed screenplays with varied and accomplished creators such as director Terry Gilliam, actor Tom Hanks, and director Cary Fukunaga. They were writers and executive producers on four award-winning miniseries: “Streets of Laredo” and “Comanche Moon” for CBS; “Dead Man’s Walk” for ABC; and “Johnson County War” for Hallmark. Diana served as on-set executive producer on all four miniseries.

Diana first read the Brokeback Mountain short story in the October 1997 New Yorker magazine and convinced Larry to co-write the screenplay with her. Diana and Larry received the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee (adapted from a short story by Annie Proulx). In addition to co-writing the Brokeback Mountain screenplay, Diana was first-position on-set producer and performed on-set writing duties, joining the cast and crew during all filming on location in and around Calgary, Alberta. Diana was nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award as producer for Brokeback Mountain. She has received two Golden Globes, two BAFTA awards, the WGA Award, the PGA Award for Theatrical Motion Picture, an Independent Spirit Award, an AFI Ten Best Movies of 2005 award, and many more.

Diana has served on numerous industry awards nominating committees/juries, including Film Independent and the American Film Institute’s annual selection of the Ten Best Films of the  Year for 2006, 2007, and 2011. Diana has taught Screenwriting and Writing Historical Fiction at the University of Iowa and served as a graduate program screenwriting lecturer at Harvard University. Diana has adapted non-fiction books into feature screenplays for several Hollywood studios. She is an active member of the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America, the Television Academy, and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Diana has her certification and license as a single-engine pilot, as well as a licensed skydiver. She enjoys watching films, reading, walking, weightlifting, bicycling, spending time with her loved ones, human and animal, and she is fluent in Italian expletives. She has competed in the “Hotter Than Hell One Hundred” bike race in Wichita Falls, Texas, and the comparable 116-mile “El Tour de Tucson” in Arizona.

Diana and Larry lived together from 1988 to 2011 and continued in the same household after Faye (the former Mrs. Ken Kesey) and Larry married until Larry’s passing in March 2021. Diana and Larry were developing his four novels comprising “The Berrybender Narratives” for a cable series; two one-hour TV pilot scripts; and in discussions to adapt Duane’s Depressed into a feature film. She is currently developing two feature film screenplays. They lived in Archer City, Texas, dividing their time between Arizona, Oregon, and Rhode Island. Diana lives with her three beloved rescue dogs, Mia, Diego, and Cash.

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