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Lowell Ganz
Born August 31, 1948
New York City, New York

Lowell Ganz (born August 31, 1948) is an American screenwriter, television writer, and television producer. He is the long-time writing partner of Babaloo Mandel.


Life and career

Ganz was born in New York City, New York, the son of Jean (née Farber) and Irving Ganz, an arts supply executive.[1] He grew up in Queens, New York. Ganz briefly attended Queens College CUNY, where he and his friend Mark Rothman wrote several comedic skits and shows for school productions. After Rothman's father Abe, a chauffeur for a TV talk show in New York, was able to pass a spec script of theirs to Tony Randall, whom he was transporting to and from the set of the show, the two got a try-out writing gig on Randall's hit TV show The Odd Couple. However, the producers of the show would only pay for them to come to Los Angeles, California one-way. Ganz and Rothman dropped out of college and headed west to take the job. After being fired—causing them to briefly live in their car and contemplate driving back across the country to New York—and then re-hired by producer Garry Marshall, the two became regular writers on the show, and Ganz eventually became head writer.

That led to a career in Hollywood writing for a string of well-loved television sitcoms. Ganz moved on to writing for the beloved TV show Happy Days and then co-created two of its spin-off series, Laverne and Shirley and Joanie Loves Chachi.

Ganz and Rothman's TV writing partnership dissolved after studio executives broke up the pair circa 1981. Ganz met his new writing partner, Babaloo Mandel (real name Marc Mandel), at The Comedy Store shortly thereafter. They then made the jump from writing for TV to writing for films.

In 1982, Ganz and Mandel teamed up with fellow Happy Days alums Ron Howard—who wanted to start directing—and Henry Winkler—who wanted to move away from his image as the Fonz—to make their first film, a low-budget comedy called Night Shift, which was also actor Michael Keaton's first film. Ganz's second film outing, Splash, launched the careers of Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.

Ganz and Mandel went on to write several other films, four more of which have also had Howard at the directing helm, and one of which had Laverne and Shirley alum Penny Marshall as director. Four of their films have featured Billy Crystal, two have featured Tom Hanks, and two are about baseball, a favorite subject of Ganz's, as he is a passionate and lifelong fan of the New York Mets. Ganz and Mandel's film Parenthood was semi-autobiographical and highly received by critics.

Ganz and Mandel are also widely used as Hollywood script doctors, known for their reliability and fast turnaround time. Their screenwriting on several major films of the late 1990's and 2000's is uncredited, including Stuart Little and Stuart Little 2 as notable examples.

Ganz lives in Los Angeles with his wife of more than 30 years. They have three children named Scott, Allie, and Simon. All three work in entertainment.

Screenwriting credits (in collaboration with Babaloo Mandel)


  • Pinsky

Television credits (with Mark Rothman and/or Babaloo Mandel)

Television series based on Ganz's films

Acting cameos

Theatre credits

TV appearances

Ganz and Mandel were featured in The Dialogue interview series. In this 90 minute interview with producer Mike DeLuca, Ganz and Mandel discusses their 40 year partnership as it evolved from television to feature films.


External links



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