Gloria Norris grew up in Elmwood Gardens, a housing project in Manchester, New Hampshire with her father, Jimmy, her mother, Shirley, her half-sister, Virginia and her cat, Sylvester. Jimmy’s Greek family had a history in the boxing game and her mother’s family lived on a Nova Scotia farm with no running water.

“PIPSQUEAK”: Gloria outside Elmwood Gardens housing project, Manchester, NH, 1960. (Copyright Gloria Norris. May not be reproduced without written consent.)

Gloria spent her childhood accompanying Jimmy to barrooms, racetracks and rendezvous with petty criminals. She learned how to fire a gun shooting rats at the dump. Gloria excelled at school and became the first in her family to attend college. She got a scholarship to Bennington College in Vermont—at the time the most expensive college in the country—and graduated from Sarah Lawrence in New York, with a focus on filmmaking and creative writing.

GONE FISHIN’: Gloria, with her father, Jimmy, after a fishing trip in 1961. (Copyright Gloria Norris. May not be reproduced without written consent.)

She began her career as an assistant to director Brian De Palma and was a co-writer on his low budget comedy, Home Movies, starring Keith Gordon and Kirk Douglas. Following that, she was Martin Scorsese’s research assistant on Raging Bull. Richard Schickel recounted the making of Raging Bull in his 2010 Vanity Fair article, citing Norris’ involvement:

De Niro suggested a period of total isolation and immersion—no phones, no distractions of any kind. They chose the La Samanna resort, on St. Martin, in the Caribbean—a complex of separate villas. They shared one of them and installed a young assistant in another nearby. She was Gloria Norris, a recent Sarah Lawrence graduate who had worked with Scorsese’s pal Brian De Palma on his early picture Home Movies.Better still, her grandfather had been a fight promoter in New England, so she was no stranger to the boxing world. She brought “tons” of books along to help them with research. She remembers De Niro rising early to run along the beach. She remembers him and Scorsese talking out the script scene by scene in the mornings. She remembers Scorsese writing up the new material on yellow legal pads in the afternoons. She remembers “his handwriting was bad, so he’d have to read some of it out to me. It was full of profanity, and he’d get embarrassed saying those words to me.”

After that, Norris would retreat to her typewriter, and De Niro and Scorsese would sometimes head out in their Jeep to dinner in one of the several extremely good restaurants on the island.Richard Schickel, Vanity Fair

"Stardust": Norris tete-a-tete's with director Woody Allen on the set of STARDUST MEMORIES (1980)
“Stardust”: Norris tete-a-tete’s with director Woody Allen on the set of STARDUST MEMORIES (1980). Copyright Brian Hamill. May not be reproduced without written consent.

Gloria next became Woody Allen’s assistant on Stardust Memories, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, and Zelig. She assisted Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci on an unproduced project, Stolen Flower.

Woody Allen’s producers optioned her first screenplay, The Uncle Bob Show, and brought her out to Los Angeles to develop it. Since relocating to Los Angeles, she has worked as a screenwriter for most of the major studios, with assignments that have taken her from Paris to the Amazon, and subjects as varied as rush week at Ole Miss and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.

GOOD FELLAS: Gloria with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro in St. Martin, October 1979. Gloria was an assistant on Scorsese’s classic RAGING BULL.

She produced Jane Weinstock’s Easy, starring Marguerite Moreau (Wet Hot American Summer), Naveen Andrews (Lost), Brian F. O’Byrne (Mildred Pierce) and Emily Deschanel (Bones.) Easy premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and in the Dramatic Competition at Sundance.

She also produced and co-wrote (with Jane Weinstock) Weinstock’s second feature, The Moment, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Martin Henderson (The Ring) and Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Gloria lives in Santa Monica, CA with her writer/editor husband, James Greenberg.