Callie Khouri is the creator and executive producer of the critically acclaimed drama, Nashville, and the Oscar Award-winning screenwriter of Thelma and Louise. Crowned “the best new drama of 2012” by outlets including USA Today, TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, TIME Magazine, The New York Post and The Daily Beast, Nashville earned Golden Globe nominations for its lead actresses and a Writers Guild of America nomination. Khouri led the show as its creator, executive producer and frequent director for six seasons from 2012 to 2018.
Khouri may be best known for galvanizing women and sparking nationwide debate in 1991 with her screenwriting debut, Thelma and Louise, which was nominated for six Academy Awards. She won the Oscar, the Golden Globe, the Writers Guild of America Award and a PEN Literary Award for Best Original Screenplay. Thelma and Louise took home the London Film Critics Circle Award for Film of the Year, and was nominated for Best Original Screenplay by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. After Thelma and Louise, Khouri wrote 1995’s Something to Talk About, starring Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid and Robert Duvall. She then made her directorial debut with Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, starring Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd, which she also adapted for the screen. In 2006, Khouri collaborated with legendary television producer Steven Bochco and wrote and directed the television drama, Hollis and Rae. She then directed her second feature film, Mad Money, starring Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes and Queen Latifah.
Honors for her writing in film and television as well as her commitment to the honest portrayal of women on screen continue to this day. Her accolades include Nashville Women in Film’s 2016 Woman of the Year; induction into the 2016 SOURCE Awards Hall of Fame; the 2016 Patsy Montana Award from the National Cowgirl Museum, which recognizes work in entertainment that continues and advances the tradition of the cowgirl in the areas of film, television, music, writing and theatre; an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from Watkins College of Art, Film and Design; the National Women’s History Museum’s 2015 Women Making History Award; and the Austin Film Festival’s 2013 Austin Distinguished Screenwriter Award.
She served on the Writer’s Guild of America board of directors from 1996 to 1998 and again from 2000 to 2002. She was also on the WGA’s board of trustees from 2001 to 2004. In 2005, she was awarded the Horton Foote Award for special achievement in screenwriting.
Born in Texas and raised in Kentucky, Khouri attended Purdue University, where she majored in drama. She pursued additional training at the Lee Strasberg Institute in Los Angeles and later with Peggy Fuery. In 1985, she began working in film production, producing commercials and music videos.