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Prolific, Award-Winning Author, Celebrity Biographer, and Writer-Producer

Prolific, Award-Winning Author, Celebrity Biographer, and Writer-Producer


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JEFF LENBURG is a prolific, bestselling author, celebrity biographer, and writer-producer. He has written more than 35 award-winning books, including celebrity memoirs and biographies, entertainment histories, and popular references. They have been nominated for several awards, including the American Library Association's "Best Non-Fiction Award," Evangelical Christian Publisher Association's "Gold Medallion Award" for "Best Autobiography/Biography," and "Theatre Library Association Award," and have been translated into numerous languages, including Chinese, Indian, Italian, and German.


As one of the nation's premier biographers, Jeff's has written 18 acclaimed celebrity memoirs and biographies. They include Renegade at Heart, the autobiography of actor Lorenzo Lamas (of TV's Renegade and Falcon Crest fame), How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Voice (Or Lose Your Tonsils Trying), with radio/TV legend Gary Owens, and All the Gold in California and Other People, Places & Things, the inspiring autobiography of Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Larry Gatlin. His many other biographies broke new ground as the "first" written on their subjects, among them: Peekaboo: The Story of Veronica Lake, a sensitive, moving, fully authorized portrait of this famous ‘40s star’s lifelong battle with alcoholism and mental illness; Dudley Moore: An Informal Biography, the first illustrated book on the life and career of the lovable actor, funnyman and entertainer; and Dustin Hoffman: Hollywood’s Antihero, the first biography ever written about the two-time Oscar-winning actor. Jeff is also the co-author of Steve Martin: An Unauthorized Biography. Jeff's work to chronicle the lives of Hollywood's most famous likewise includes the eight-book Legends of Animation series featuring individual in-depth biographies of iconic animators Tex Avery, Walt Disney, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, Matt Groening, Walter Lantz, John Lasseter, Hayao Miyazaki, and Genndy Tartakovsky.


As a nationally recognized expert on cartoon animation, Jeff has written seven books about the history of this lively art.  They include Jeff's The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons, now in its third edition, the most comprehensive reference ever produced that chronicles the history of more than 3,100 animated cartoons--silent cartoons, theatrical sound cartoon series, full-length animated features, television specials, and television cartoon series. Other titles include Who's Who in Animated Cartoons, the first international guide to 300 award-winning and legendary animators from film and television in animation's 100-year history; The Great Cartoon Directors, the first and only book to examine the careers of legendary animators from Hollywood’s “Golden Age of Cartoons"--Tex Avery Bob Clampett, William Hanna and Joe Barbera, Friz Freleng, Chuck Jones, Walter Lantz and others; and two editions of The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoon Series. The latter was the first encyclopedic reference on animated cartoon series ever written. In addition, Jeff has written Career Opportunities in Animation, the most comprehensive career guide for beginning and experienced animation professionals imaginable, for Ferguson Publishing.


In 1993, for his work as an animation historian, Jeff was inducted into the "Cartoon Legends Walk of Fame" in Hollywood along with celebrated cartoon icons Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera and Friz Freleng, and was named to serve on the Advisory Board of Cartoon Network.


Considered the foremost authority on the Three Stooges comedy team and a close friend of Stooges Moe Howard, Larry Fine, Joe Besser and Joe DeRita, he co-authored two books about this wacky comedy trio. The first, The Three Stooges Scrapbook, is indisputably the most complete history of the Stooges ever written. Co-written by Moe Howard's daughter, Joan Howard Maurer, the original edition was the culmination of of ten years of interviews and research, including exclusive interviews with the Stooges, their friends, and family members by Jeff and his twin brother Greg, to complete what The Washington Post has aptly called "the Three Stooges bible." The second, born out of Jeff's 16-year friendship with comedian and former Three Stooges member Joe Besser, is the comic's sentimental autobiography, Once a Stooge, Always a Stooge, originally published under the title of Not Just a Stooge.


Recognized as a top researcher, Jeff has penned many popular references as well. Included among them are two editions of The Facts on File Guide to Research, a comprehensive guide to conducting research and writing, and as a longtime baseball enthusiast, Baseball's All-Star Game: A Game-by-Game Guide, Jeff's widely praised history of baseball's mid-summer classic.

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In 1995, Jeff turned his attention toward writing fiction. That year, he published his first novel, Scared to Death: A Lori Matrix Hollywood Mystery, a classic Hollywood "whodunit" that won widespread acclaim. Currently, he is in the process of penning a second all-new mystery, entitled Deadly Innocence.


During his illustrious career, Jeff has interviewed dozens of other major personalities, world figures and headline-makers, including baseball Hall of Famers George Brett and Nolan Ryan, tennis star Chris Evert, former First Lady Betty Ford, and controversial and former New York policeman Frank Serpico.


As a popular media figure, Jeff has also appeared on more than 100 radio and television programs, namely BBC Live, CBS Evening News, The Dennis Miller Show, E!'s Mysteries & Scandals, Entertainment Tonight, NBC's Today, CNN's Showbiz Today, and many others.


As a writer, producer, and creative consultant, Jeff has lent his talents to a variety of top-rated network specials and documentaries for ABC, NBC, PBS, and Tribune Broadcasting, including TV's Greatest Commercials, Hollywood's Private Home Movies, The Three Stooges: A Celebration, and The Story of the Boys Republic. He has also appeared as an on-camera personality on several documentaries, including I Know That Voice and Picture Perfect: The Making of Sleeping Beauty.


Jeff first broke into the business writing, producing, and directing various short films, including an adaptation of Willie Nelson's classic song, "The Red Headed Stranger." Later, he trained as a screenwriter under a Director Guild of America-sponsored protégé of Academy Award-winning film director Arthur Hiller and director Richard Donner. As a co-producer, Jeff worked alongside Emmy Award-winning documentary producer, Don Bresnahan.


In recognition of his achievements, Jeff is listed in such prominent references as Contemporary Authors and Men of Achievement, and was awarded the "Journalism Alumnus of the Year Award" by his alma mater, Fullerton College. He makes his home near Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Debby.

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Downloadable Biography

Downloadable Books List

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