Yoon Joung Lee
American actress, comedienne and author, Fannie Flagg, was born Patricia Neal in Birmingham Alabama in 1944 as the daughter of Marion Leona and William Hurbert Neal, Jr. Her father and
grandfather were both projectionists and therefore, she grew up around movies and learned how to operate spotlights. At the age of eight, she began her acting career by writing and staging a play called “The Whoopee Girls.”
With her next work “Town and Gown Theatre” she started as a spotlight operator, then as an actress when she was fifteen. When she was eighteen, she debuted on stage for “On the Town” as an old lady and adopted her stage name “Fannie Flagg” to distinguish herself from a well-known Oscar-winning actress named Patricia Neal.
After graduating from Ramsay High School, she became a co-host for “Morning Show” at WBRC 6 with Joe Langston and Tom York in the 1960s. In 1964, she was hired as a staff writer for Allen Funt’s Candid Camera and begun to appear on various game shows such as the Match Game and Password with her Southern charm and wit.
In 1970, she made her screen debut as an actress in “Five Easy Pieces.” Later, she also played small roles in “Rabbit Test,” “Grease,” and the TV show “Wonder Woman.” In addition to television and film, she also acted on Broadway shows- “Come Back to the Five and Dime,” “Jimmy Dean,” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.”
During the 1960s and 1970s, she recorded two comedy albums including many parodies of “Lady Bird Johnson” and “Martha Mitchell.” She also wrote comedy routines and submitted articles to magazines and newspapers including the New York Times Book Reviews. Then in the 1980s, she focused seriously on novel writing. Her first novel, Coming Attractions: A Wonderful Novel, was published in 1981 and reissued as Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man in 1992. Flag's most well known novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café was adapted into the 1991 movie Fried Green Tomatoes. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay adaptation.
Flagg has spoken publicly about her struggles with dyslexia causing her difficulty with spelling and her writing career was put on hold for much of the 1970s. However, she overcame fear and finished several novels and screenplays. She now divides her time between homes in Alabama and California.