Show Business: The Night off the Great Prom

James Brooks'Terms of Endearment wins five Oscars

Over the past decade and a half, James Brooks, 43, has made a career out of writing and producing such unpredictable TV comedies as Taxi and Mary Tyler Moore. But last week, after winning three Oscars for Terms of Endearment, the first movie he ever directed, the normally pessimistic Brooks reacted in an uncharacteristically predictable way: he was ecstatic. "I'm nuts," he said. "I'm programmed for about two minutes of joy, and this has been going on for 48 hours."

His own statuettes were for best picture (he co-produced Terms), best director and best screenplay adaptation,...

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