David Friedman ( ; born September 25, 1970), better known by his pen name David Benioff, is an American screenwriter and television writer, director and producer. Along with his collaborator D. B. Weiss, he is best known as co-creator, showrunner, and writer of Game of Thrones (2011–2019), the HBO adaptation of George R. R. Martin's series of books A Song of Ice and Fire. He is also known for writing Troy (2004) and co-writing X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).
On September 30, 2006, Benioff married actress Amanda Peet in New York City. They have three children. The family divides their time between homes in Manhattan and Beverly Hills.
Benioff was born David Friedman in New York City, the youngest of three children in a Jewish family with ancestral roots in Austria, Romania, Germany, Poland and Russia. He is the son of Barbara (née Benioff) and Stephen Friedman, a former head of Goldman Sachs. He is a distant cousin of Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. He has two older sisters, Suzy and Caroline, and grew up in Manhattan, first in Peter Cooper Village, then on 86th Street where he spent most of his childhood, before eventually moving near the U.N. headquarters when he was 16.Benioff is an alumnus of Collegiate School and Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth he was a member of Phi Delta Alpha Fraternity and the Sphinx Senior Society. After graduating in 1992, he had a number of jobs: for a time as a club bouncer in San Francisco, and as a high school English teacher at Poly Prep in Brooklyn for two years, where he served as the school's wrestling coach.Benioff became interested in an academic career and went to Trinity College Dublin in 1995, for a one-year program to study Irish literature. In Dublin he met D. B. Weiss, who later became his collaborator. Benioff wrote a thesis on Samuel Beckett at Trinity College, but decided against a career in academia. He worked as a radio DJ in Moose, Wyoming, for a year—mostly as a side job that he accepted mainly to spend a year in the countryside at a writer's retreat. He then applied to join the University of California, Irvine's creative writing program after reading The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon (an alumnus there), and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing there in 1999.In 2001, People magazine included Benioff on its list of America's Top 50 Most Eligible Bachelors.As an adult, he began using the pen name David Benioff when his first novel was published in 2001. Benioff is his mother's maiden name. He explained that he did this to avoid confusion with other writers named David Friedman. For legal purposes, his copyright filings from the 2010s onward list him as "David Benioff Friedman".
Movies & TV shows
1 TV show
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Game of Thrones: The Last Watch
A documentary about the making of the hit show.
1 TV show
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1 Movie · 1 TV show
The Writers' Room
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1 Movie · 1 TV show
Making of 'Game of Thrones'
This special features interviews, clips from the show, and more.
Game of Thrones
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X-Men Origins: Wolverine
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1 Movie · 1 TV show
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
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2 Movies · 1 TV show
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