Doran, Phil 1944-
DORAN, Phil 1944-
PERSONAL: Born 1944; married; wife's name Nancy.
CAREER: Television writer and producer, 1971–95. Producer for television series The Facts of Life, 1986–88; co-executive producer for series Who's the Boss, 1990–92.
AWARDS, HONORS: Emmy Award nomination; Humanitas Award; Population Institute Award, for work on All in the Family.
The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian (memoir), Gotham Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Script writer for episodes of All in the Family, 1971, Bob Newhart Show, 1972, Carter Country, 1977, Facts of Life, 1979, Sanford and Son, 1980, Baby Makes Five, 1983, Jennifer Slept Here, 1983, Who's the Boss, 1984, The Wonder Years, 1988, Free Spirit, 1989, Getting By, 1993, and Sister, Sister, 1994. Writer for variety shows starring Tim Conway, the Smothers Brothers, and Tony Orlando. Also author of screenplay for Tri-Star and two stage plays produced in Los Angeles, CA. Contributor of travel articles to Los Angeles Times.
SIDELIGHTS: A television producer and writer and producer for twenty-five years, Phil Doran worked on shows such as All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Wonder Years, and Who's the Boss before giving up the hectic Los Angeles pace for a farmhouse in Italy. He did not, however, do so willingly. His wife, a sculptor, purchased the three-centuries-old house badly in need of restoration, and Doran was a very reluctant expatriate.
Doran records his experiences in the 2005 title, The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian, an "amusing memoir" according to a contributor for Publishers Weekly. As the contributor notes, Doran's "brutally funny accounts" of how he managed to argue with everybody in his new village, from mayor to landlord are sufficient to "keep readers hooked," and are part of what sets the author's account apart from a plethora of other titles of American and Brits going native in parts of Europe from the south of France to Tuscany. Mari Flynn, writing in Library Journal, similarly felt that readers with a "more sardonic take on life, love, marriage, [and] retirement" might enjoy Doran's take on the expatriate life over that of more romantic accounts.
Restoring the decrepit farmhouse proved a bigger job than either Doran or his wife had envisioned and this further fueled his reluctant acceptance of his new life. Slowly, however, he was seduced by the Italian lifestyle. Booklist reviewer Mark Knoblauch found Doran's prose "funny, breezy, [and] offhand," and also that the author "has an eye for the telling personal detail." A critic for Kirkus Reviews noted that Doran is a "deeply neurotic character."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Doran, Phil, The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian, Gotham Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Booklist, January 1, 2005, Mark Knoblauch, review of The Reluctant Tuscan, p. 808.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2004, review of The Reluctant Tuscan, p. 1178.
Library Journal, January 1, 2005, Mari Flynn, review of The Reluctant Tuscan, p. 137.
Publishers Weekly, February 21, 2005, review of The Reluctant Tuscan, p. 1661.
Reluctant Tuscan Web site, http://www.reluctanttuscan.com/ (May 8, 2005).