She wrote Robert Altman's 'Thieves Like Us' and 'Nashville', was continuity on McCabe and Mrs. Miller and was an uncredited writer on 'The Eyes of Laura Mars'. Now obviously saying you wrote an Altman film is a weird one because he so often veered off script, but it really felt like she was instrumental in regards to putting 'Nashville' together. Going down to Nashville and keeping a journal and just constructing the screenplay from people she met and incidents she witnessed. From Jan Stuart’s 'The Nashville Chronicles: The Making of Robert Altman's Masterpiece':
"Altman sent Thieves Like Us screenwriter Joan Tewkesbury on a guided tour of Nashville, where she went to the Country Music Hall of Fame and other stage-managed tourist attractions. She found the experience boring, and told Altman she didn’t see a movie set there; he sent her back for a second trip, this time on her own, and she managed to suss out more of the authentic texture of the town. Many of the elements of the film—the traffic jam, the visit to the recording studio, the way Robert DoQui’s Wade sits down next to Lily Tomlin at the Exit/In—were directly inspired by things that happened to her on that trip."
She fell out of Altman's circle for a bit. Here's her talking about it, from Mitchell Zuckoff's incredible 'ROBERT ALTMAN' book: "Scotty (Altman's exec producer) did all the stuff Bob didn't want to do. She was the one who tied up all the loose ends. And he trusted her - which is no mean feat - because he knew that he owned her. She was the "It" person. But it was a dark "It". Between me and Bob there was a period of time when it was not great. I would try to see him or talk, and he simply was not interested. It was a lot to do with Scott. She had gotten Tommy Thompson out. Bob Eggenweiler left. I mean, these men were his soul, they were his guys, you know, and they were hilariously funny, stupidly funny. They were part of the old crowd, with Louie Lombardo. Now they're all dead. All of them."
She tried her hand at directing and did a movie called 'Old Boyfriends' written by Paul and Leonard Schrader, with music by David Shire
(whose Zodiac score I still gush over, especially the track 'Aftermaths'). The film also has a killer cast and after that one, she mostly did a lot of TV, including Doogie Howser MD...
Here's an interview with Tewkesbury via Bomb magazine (which has some great film interviews with Carlos Reygadas and Altman)http://bombmagazine.org/article/236/joan-tewkesbury
So here's part one of Old Boyfriends via Youtube. (Can't wait to see this...)
In this Altman doc, Tewkesbury talks about 'Kansas City' being one of Altman's best (and i agree, i think it's aces!) she comes in around the 4:58 mark
And David Shire wise, this guy doesn't get enough props or enough gigs, he did fantastic scores for: The Conversation, All the President’s Men, Saturday Night Fever, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 and Zodiac, amongst others.
David Shire interviewed by Francis Ford Coppola (great story about everyone falling asleep during one of the first screenings of The Conversation and a sing along at the end that's cute)http://davidshiremusic.com/biography/