Jill Robinson was born in Los Angeles. She is well known for her talks on Hollywood Myths and Legends; stories about her childhood in Hollywood, life at her father’s studio, and LA during the blacklisting years. Her father was Oscar and Tony winner, Dore Schary, head of MGM during the 50s and the only writer to ever run a film studio. Her mother, the artist, M. Svet, studied at the Art Students League in New York.
Robinson’s first book With A Cast of Thousands, was about growing up in Hollywood. After she moved to New York, she wrote for Cosmopolitan Magazine, during the template Helen Gurley Brown years. Robinson also covered trials for the The Soho Weekly News. In 1974, her memoir Bed/Time/Story won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The novel Perdido established Robinson as a serious American writer. Vanity Fair described Past Forgetting as “the astounding chronicle of her journey to recover her memory.” This experience encouraged her to start the Wimpole Street Writers’ Workshop, which attracts some of the most original young writers in London.
Robinson has reviewed books and written articles for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and American and French Vogue. Recently, she wrote a series of columns on being an American in London for the Daily Telegraph Saturday Magazine. Her Vanity Fair story on Roman Polanski was included in George Plimpton’s book, The Best American Movie Writing for 1998.
Robinson has taught Master Classes for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts and has lectured on writing around America and Britain. She toured with her husband, the English writer Stuart Shaw, reading their play Falling in Love When You Thought You Were Through (adapted from their book).
- Falling in Love When You Thought You Were Through, a memoir written with Stuart Shaw (HarperCollins, 2002)
- Past Forgetting, a memoir (HarperCollins, 1999)
- Star Country, a novel (Fawcett Columbine, 1996)
- Follow Me Through Paris, illustrations by Robinson (Lublin Graphics, 1983)
- Dr. Rocksinger and the Age of Longing (Knopf, 1982)
- Perdido (Random House, 1978)
- Bed/Time/Story (Random House, 1974)
- Thanks for the Rubies, Now Please Pass the Moon (The Dial Press, 1972)
- With a Cast of Thousands (Stein and Day, 1963)
- Polanski’s Inferno in The Best American Movie Writing 1998
Edited by George Plimpton (St. Martin’s Griffin, 1998)
- Stardust in Thoughts of Home: Reflections on Families, Houses & Homelands
Edited by Elaine Greene (Hearst Books, 1995)
- Hers – Through Women’s Eyes. Essays and columns for the New York Times
(Villard Books, 1985)
- Fantasia in American Dreams: Lost & Found
Edited by Studs Terkel (Pantheon Books, 1980)
The New York Times
- The New Tatterdemalions
- Pioneers Abroad
- The Boss Never Pours
- Friends, Lovers, Children: Of Getting and Giving Books
- Hers columns (1978-1981)
- Cover story on Roman Polanski (1998)
Los Angeles Times
- Scenes From A Last Act (March 29, 2009)
- Cover story on Barbra Streisand’s wedding (1998)
Harper & Queens
- Cover story on Princess Grace.
The Telegraph Saturday Magazine
- Eight columns (1997)
- Profile on Liz Hurley
- Movie Star Express (The Orient Express goes to Venice)
- Women & Success: Now you’ve got it, how do you live it?