Robert Mark Kamen
With a career spanning more than 30 years, screenwriter Robert Mark Kamen is the creator behind such classic films as "Taps" and "The Karate Kid." Born in the Bronx, Kamen made his first foray into feature writing with "Taps," the military academy drama that gave early starring roles to Tom Cruise and Sean Penn. Drawing on his own martial arts studies, Kamen penned the blockbuster "The Karate Kid," another star-making vehicle, this time for Ralph Macchio, which spawned sequels and a TV series. Subsequent works included another action sequel, "Lethal Weapon 3," and a romance featuring Keanu Reeves, "A Walk in the Clouds." In the mid '90s, Kamen worked in the studio system as a self-proclaimed "script assassin," executing uncredited rewrites that tampered with other screenwriters' original ideas. Eager to leave the confines of that world, he struck up a collaborative relationship with French writer-producer-director Luc Besson, beginning with the Bruce Willis science fiction adventure, "The Fifth Element." The team went on to other action fare such as "The Transporter" and its sequels and the Liam Neeson kidnapping drama, "Taken."