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Susan Fales-Hill

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Information about Susan Fales-Hill

Profile image of Susan Fales-Hill

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Bread
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
Tomorrow Is Another Day.

Birthplace

Born:
8/15/1962
Birth Location:
Rome,

Profession

Category:
EntertainmentMakers
Occupation(s):
Television Producer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Bread
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Paris, France
Favorite Quote:
Tomorrow Is Another Day.

Birthplace

Born:
8/15/1962
Birth Location:
Rome
See how Susan Fales-Hill is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Author, television writer and producer Susan Fales-Hill was born on August 15, 1962 in Rome, Italy to Timothy Fales and Haitian-American actress, Josephine Premice. Fales-Hill was raised in New York City, and graduated from the Lycee Francais de New York in 1980. In 1985, she graduated with her B.A. degree in history and literature from Harvard University.

Upon graduation, Fales-Hill began an apprenticeship as a writer on The Cosby Show. In 1987, she transferred to the show’s spin-off, A Different World, where she worked as a story editor. In 1990, Fales-Hill was promoted to co-executive producer and head writer. Then, in 1995, she became executive producer of the CBS sitcom, Can't Hurry Love. In 1996, Fales-Hill served first as executive producer of the family-oriented situation comedy, Kirk, then as a consulting producer on the television series Suddenly Susan. In 1998, she co-created with Tim Reid the Showtime original series Linc's, and served for two seasons as its executive producer and head writer.

In 2003, Fales-Hill published Always Wear Joy: My Mother Bold and Beautiful, a critically acclaimed memoir about her mother. The book was a finalist for the NAACP Image Award and the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction. It was an Atlanta Daily Choice Awards winner, and received a starred review from Kirkus. Fales-Hill has authored two other books: 2010’s novel, One Flight Up, and 2013’s Imperfect Bliss. She has also written several magazine articles that have appeared in Town & Country, Vogue, Glamour, American Heritage, Ebony, Essence, Avenue, and Travel and Leisure.

From 2003 to 2006, Fales-Hill served as an elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association, and from 2003 to 2010 as a member of Harvard University’s Committee on University Resources. She also served on the boards of the Studio Museum of Harlem and the American Ballet Theatre. From 2004 to 2007, Fales-Hill co-chaired the American Ballet Theatre Spring Gala.

Fales-Hill has also received many honors and awards. Under her leadership, A Different World was nominated for the prestigious Humanitas Award. The episode she wrote on AIDS, "If I Should Die Before I Wake," received the 1991 Maggie Award from Planned Parenthood, the 13th Annual Media Access Award from the California Governor's Committee for Employment of Disabled Persons, and the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award. Fales-Hill has also received the the Producer’s Guild of America’s Nova award, a “Special Recognition Award” from the Friends of the Black Emmys, and the Excellence and Heritage Award from Dillard University. In 2001, she was named to the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.

Susan Fales-Hill was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 13, 2013.

See how Susan Fales-Hill is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Susan Fales-Hill's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Susan Fales-Hill lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her Haitian heritage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her father's heritage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Susan Fales-Hill describes the social scene of her parents' youth
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls how her parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her early home on the Upper West Side of New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Susan Fales-Hill describes the sights sound and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls her early household
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her everyday routine as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her interests and pursuits as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls attending Lycee Francais de New York in New York City
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her early understanding of racism, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her early understanding of racism, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Susan Fales-Hill describes the role of racial discussion in mixed race homes
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her parents' emphasis on embracing racial and ethnic identity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls the role of race in her early life
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Susan Fales-Hill describes the struggles of successful African American actresses
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls the importance of etiquette in her early years
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about the selfie controversy at Nelson Mandela's funeral
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls childhood visits to her paternal grandparents
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her paternal grandmother
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her favorite subjects in school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers being accepted to Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls her classmates at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her first impression of Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls how she was treated by her fellow Harvard University classmates
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers working for the Legal Aid Society in New York City
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her work during her summers in college
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her major at Harvard University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her father's affair
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls meeting Bill Cosby
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers working with 'The Cosby Show' writing team
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Susan Fales-Hill describes the work environment in the writing room
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls her family's sense of humor
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about television consultant Dr. Alvin Poussaint
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her experiences on the writing staff of 'The Cosby Show'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Susan Fales-Hill describes the characters in 'A Different World'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about the creation of 'A Different World'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls writing the character Whitley Gilbert
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers advice from Diahann Carroll
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls her mother's response to her work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her favorite episodes of 'A Different World'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about life in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls the camaraderie on the set of 'A Different World'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers the cancellation of 'A Different World'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers working on the television show 'Can't Hurry Love'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls shooting the pilot episode of 'Kirk' in Paris, France
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about black television series in the 1990s
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Susan Fales-Hill recalls working on the television series 'Linc's'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her decision to leave the entertainment business
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her transition from television production to novel writing
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her process in writing 'Always Wear Joy'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers how she chose her novel topics
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her writing process
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Susan Fales-Hill describes the themes in her novel 'Imperfect Bliss'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Susan Fales-Hill remembers her work with arts and culture organizations in New York City
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her views about her community involvement
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Susan Fales-Hill reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Susan Fales-Hill talks about her future aspirations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Susan Fales-Hill describes her hopes for the entertainment industry
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Susan Fales-Hill reflects upon her legacy