RIP Monica Johnson, 1956-2010, award-winning comedy writer partnered with Albert Brooks

Sharon Stone may have played the muse for Albert Brooks in the 1999 film, The Muse, but in many ways, Monica Johnson was the real muse for Brooks, co-writing several of his popular screenplays over two decades, including, in fact, The Muse. Johnson died Monday at 54 from esophageal cancer. In a statement, Brooks said: "Monica Johnson was an extraordinary person. Funny, smart, and so much fun to work with. The world has lost a great sense of humor.‚Äù Here is what he had to say about Johnson in a 1996 radio interview to promote the movie, Mother:   Johnson and Brooks won the best screenplay award from the National Society of Film Critics for Mother, as they also had a decade earlier for 1985's Lost in America. She also collaborated with Brooks in crafting the screenplays for Real Life, Modern Romance, The Scout and Muse. Even before she became the unseen hand giving a second voice to Brooks' movies, she wrote several popular episodes of Mary Tyler Moore and Laverne & Shirley. In the few years before her death, however, she had retreated to the desert and focused instead on art, as can be seen on her relatively new online site, where she also wrote this bio: Monica Johnson spent her early years in medical and dental assistants‚Äô school, with solid determination to marry a dentist. (She would have...

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