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17 August 1953
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17 August 1953
Regan grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts and Bay Shore, New York. She graduated from Bay Shore High School in 1971. She graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in English and Art History. She went on to study art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
In the early 1980s, Regan wrote for and edited a number of publications and produced a number of television shows. In the mid 1980s, she signed a major six-figure deal with Simon & Schuster to write two books, including a study of the history of the American family. She later canceled the contract in order to stay home with her young son, who had suffered a devastating head injury after being hit by a drunken driver. Simon & Schuster then offered her a job as an editor and she accepted provided she could work from home in order to care for her son.
While at Simon & Schuster, Regan worked with a wide range of authors, from Howard Stern to Rush Limbaugh, while discovering and editing novelists such as Wally Lamb, Jess Walter, Walter Kirn, and Douglas Coupland. New York Magazine wrote,"Judith is, hands down, the most successful editor in the book business; not only has she sold millions of pallets of books, but she's put a decided spin on the culture, too, but she isn't just Rush and Howard; her oeuvre includes O.J. prosecutor Christopher Darden, Gen-Xer Douglas Coupland, Oprah novelist Wally Lamb, and diet-category-killer The Zone). She is said to be responsible for a king's ransom of the HarperCollins bottom line." Judith also had her own imprint, ReganBooks, for fourteen years at HarperCollins. Regan created a line of books with well over two billion dollars in sales.
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Regan's first acquisition for her own imprint REGAN BOOKS was an unknown first-time novelist named Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The book went on to sell over 10 million copies and has become the largest grossing musical in history.
Additional books she created, art directed, marketed, edited and produced include Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Wicked and Son of a Witch, also by Gregory Maguire; Stupid White Men by Michael Moore; Private Parts and Miss America by Howard Stern; The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists by Neil Strauss; Story: Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee; Shabby Chic by Rachel Ashwell; She's Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb; Juiced by Jose Canseco; Domicilium Decoratus by Kelly Wearstler; Shampoo Planet and Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland; Ruby Ridge, "Citizen Vince" and Land of the Blind by Jess Walter and American Soldier by Tommy Franks.
In 2006, Fox announced that Regan had interviewed O.J. Simpson for over four hours and had gotten Simpson to confess to the notorious 1994 murders of which he had been acquitted. The confession was to air on the Fox network and Regan was to publish O.J. Simpson's written confession as a book entitled If I Did It.
After harsh criticism, News Corporation cancelled both the book and the interview with Simpson that was to air on the Fox Network. The book went on to be published and became a #1 bestseller. News Corp. fired Regan and Regan sued and won a reported $25 million for defamation and wrongful dismissal.
In a 2005, season-4 episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent called "My Good Name," the media adviser to a Bernie Kerik-like character takes a phone call from a woman named "Judith" modeled after Regan.
In 2012, Regan made several appearances on The Joy Behar Show.
Ruby Ridge. Executive Producer. CBS mini-series. 1996.
Living Out Loud. Actress, Cameo. 1998.
Growing Up Gotti. Executive Producer, A&E. 2004-2006.
When the World Came to Town. Universal. (in turnaround)
Custody. Dreamworks. (in turnaround)
The Dive. Producer with James Cameron and Barry Josephson. (in development)
I Know This Much Is True. Producer. Fox Studios. (in development)