Whedon. It is a name that causes geeks the world over to squee with delight and excitement. From humble beginnings came the man whose television shows caused fans to laugh, cry, shriek, spend money on eBay and send letters (among other things) in protest to major television networks!
Joss, often mistaken for Josh, Whedon was born on the 23rd of June in 1964. His grandfather wrote for the classic shows Leave It to Beaver and The Dick Van Dyke Show. His father wrote for Captain Kangaroo and The Golden Girls. Born in New York as Joseph Whedon, Joss was the youngest of three boys. His parents divorced when he was nine. When his mother, a teacher, went on sabbatical in England, Joss went with her. Intending on only being there for six months he stayed for three years, attending Winchester College, founded in 1382. After Winchester, Joss attended Wesleyan University in Connecticut and graduated in 1987.
Joss headed to Los Angeles where he got a job as a story editor on the sitcom Roseanne and eventually wrote for the show. Later he both wrote and co-produced the NBC show Parenthood. In 1992 his screenplay about a blonde cheerleader who fought vampires, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was released on the big screen. Though it wasn't terribly successful, Joss continued to work and was often called upon to doctor scripts. He co-wrote the Pixar hit Toy Story and was nominated for an Academy Award for his work.
In 1996 Joss was able to revive Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this time as a one hour drama. The character, influenced by X-Men's Kitty Pryde, was relocated to the small town of Sunnydale, California. Starring former soap actress Sarah Michelle Gellar, the show premiered in the spring of 1997 as a mid-season replacement on TheWB network. The show was a hit and brought critical acclaim to the fledgling network. Joss was nominated for an Emmy in 1999 for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for the episode Hush. Ironically, the episode featured 28 minutes with no dialogue. He further stretched his talents on Buffy by writing a musical episode with over 10 original songs. The episode aired during the sixth season and is a favorite among fans.
In 1999 Joss and David Greenwalt created the show Angel, which brought the character of the same name from Buffy's world in Sunnydale to Los Angeles. Airing after Buffy the Vampire Slayer initially, Angel was also a hit. Buffy spent five seasons on TheWB before the network decided to not renew it. However, the show did not end because UPN decided to pick it up and it lasted two more seasons before it ended in May of 2003. Angel continued for five seasons and over 100 episodes before TheWB decided to cancel it in 2004.
In 2002 Joss created another show, separate from his Buffy universe and set 500 years in the future. A combination of western and fantasy, Firefly debuted in September 2002 on the FOX network. However, the show did not do well and was canceled after 11 episodes had aired. The show was brought to DVD along with three unaired episodes. Very passionate about the show, Joss refused to let it die. His passion, the passion of Firefly fans and strong DVD sales caused Universal to take notice and they greenlit a feature film continuing the story. The film, Serenity, marked Joss' feature film directorial debut and was released in September of 2005.
Joss will next write and direct a film based on the Wonder Woman comics, as well as a film called Goners.
Joss created an original comic telling the story of a slayer far into the future called Fray. He has also written the X-Men title Astonishing X-Men. In addition to those, he has also carried on his Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly/Serenity worlds in comic book form.
Married to Kai Cole, Joss lives in Los Angeles. The couple welcomed their son Arden to the world in 2002.