Robert Harling was born in 1951 in Louisiana. Harling is an American writer and film director best known for his play Steel Magnolias.
Harling was an aspiring actor when the death of his younger sister inspired him to write the play that remains his most famous work. He went on to adapt the screenplay for the film version of the play that was produced in 1989 starring Sally Field and Julia Roberts. He played a small role in the film as a minister.
Harling has concentrated on working as a screenwriter in subsequent years. He is the author of the screenplays to the films Soapdish (1991), The First Wives Club (1996), Laws of Attraction (2004), and is currently working on the screenplay for the film version of Dallas. He also wrote and directed the sequel to Terms of Endearment titled The Evening Star (1996).