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Abby Mann

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Also Known As: Abraham Goodman Died: March 25, 2008
Born: December 1, 1927 Cause of Death: heart failure in
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: screenwriter, producer, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This "Golden Age" TV writer has branched out to become an extremely successful producer as well. Born in Philadelphia, Mann served in the Army and attended Temple University and NYU, where he wrote several student productions. He started his career in earnest in the fertile ground of 1950s TV in New York, writing for such now-legendary showcases as "Lucky Strike Theater" (NBC), "Playhouse 90" (CBS) and "Matinee Theater" (NBC) before branching out into films.Mann's first attempt won him an Oscar, for adapting his 1959 "Playhouse 90" script "Judgment at Nuremberg" for the screen in 1961. He went on to adapt his teleplay "A Child is Waiting" (1962) for the big screen as well, and furnished screenplays for Vittorio De Sica's "The Condemned of Altona" (1962), Stanley Kramer's "Ship of Fools" (1965), "The Detective" (1968), "Report to the Commissioner" (1975) and "War and Love" (1985).But TV provided Mann with steadier employment. He wrote and produced the 1973 TV-movie "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" (CBS), which then had a five-year run as the series "Kojak", starring Telly Savalas. In 1985, Mann was credited as "creator" on the first of seven "Kojak" TV movies, which ran through 1990 on both CBS and ABC. He...

This "Golden Age" TV writer has branched out to become an extremely successful producer as well. Born in Philadelphia, Mann served in the Army and attended Temple University and NYU, where he wrote several student productions. He started his career in earnest in the fertile ground of 1950s TV in New York, writing for such now-legendary showcases as "Lucky Strike Theater" (NBC), "Playhouse 90" (CBS) and "Matinee Theater" (NBC) before branching out into films.

Mann's first attempt won him an Oscar, for adapting his 1959 "Playhouse 90" script "Judgment at Nuremberg" for the screen in 1961. He went on to adapt his teleplay "A Child is Waiting" (1962) for the big screen as well, and furnished screenplays for Vittorio De Sica's "The Condemned of Altona" (1962), Stanley Kramer's "Ship of Fools" (1965), "The Detective" (1968), "Report to the Commissioner" (1975) and "War and Love" (1985).

But TV provided Mann with steadier employment. He wrote and produced the 1973 TV-movie "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" (CBS), which then had a five-year run as the series "Kojak", starring Telly Savalas. In 1985, Mann was credited as "creator" on the first of seven "Kojak" TV movies, which ran through 1990 on both CBS and ABC. He served as executive producer on the pilot and series "Medical Story" (NBC, 1975-76) and the CBS miniseries "Sinatra" (1992); and he was both producer and screenwriter for the miniseries "King" (NBC, 1978, which he also directed), the NBC pilot "Skag" (1980), the CBS miniseries "The Atlanta Child Murders" (1985) and the HBO movie "Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story" (1992). Mann shared Emmy Awards for co-writing and co-producing the HBO movie "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story" (1989). While he was in the process of writing and producing the 1995 HBO movie "Indictment: The McMartin Trial", Mann's house burned down, destroying many unpublished scripts and mementos. Mann felt that someone opposed to the McMartin telefilm was responsible.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Flowers For Matty (1990) Creator
2.
  It's Always Something (1990) Creator
3.
  None So Blind (1990) Creator
4.
  Ariana (1989) Creator
5.
  Fatal Flaw (1989) Creator
6.
7.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Spencer Tracy: Triumph and Turmoil (1999) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Served in US Army in WWII
:
Wrote plays while attending college
:
Began writing for TV in early 1950s
1961:
First movie screenplay, "Judgement at Nuremberg"; won Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
1962:
Adapted teleplay "A Child Is Waiting" for film directed by John Cassavetes
1965:
Penned the screenplay for the film adaptation of "Ship of Fools"
1968:
Wrote the script for the Frank Sinatra vehicle "The Detective"
1973:
Created character of Kojak in the acclaimed CBS TV-movie "The Marcus-Nelson Murders" and subsequent spin-off series; won Emmy for the former
1975:
Served as executive producer and writer on the pilot for the short-lived NBC anthology series "Medical Story"
1975:
Returned to feature films to pen screenplay for "Report to the Commissioner"
1978:
Directorial debut, "King" and NBC biographical miniseries about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr; also wrote teleplay
1980:
Executive produced (also wrote) the NBC TV-movie "Skag" starring Karl Malden
1985:
Scripted (also executive produced) the CBS drama "The Atlanta Child Murders"
1985:
Made one-shot return to feature writing on "War and Love"
1989:
Co-wrote and executive produced the HBO biographical drama "Murderers Among Us: The Simon Wiesenthal Story"; garnered second Emmy Award
1992:
Penned the HBO teleplay (also executive produced) "Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story"
1992:
Penned the biographical miniseries "Sinatra" (CBS)
1995:
Served as executive producer and screenwriter for the Emmy-winning "Indictment: The McMartin Trial" (HBO)
2001:
National Actors Theater revived stage play "Judgment at Nuremberg"
2002:
Produced (also wrote) "Whitewash: The Clarence Brandley Story"
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Education

Temple University: Philadelphia , Pennsylvania -
New York University: New York , New York -

Notes

After a Berlin showing of "Judgment at Nuremberg", "a German came up to me and said, how dare I do this. He started pushing me around. There were fists exchanged. They wanted to let bygones be bygones." --Abby Mann quoted in Variety, February 7, 1994.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Harriett Carr. Divorced.
wife:
Myra Mann. Screenwriter. Co-wrote "Indictment: The McMartin Trial".

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ben Goodman. Jeweler.
son:
Aaron Mann. Born c. 1978.

Bibliography close complete biography

"Judgment at Nuremberg" New American Library
"Medical Story" Signet
"Tuesdays and Thursdays" Doubleday
"Massacre at Wounded Knee" Zebra
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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