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Paddy Chayefsky

Paddy Chayefsky

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Also Known As: Sidney Aaron Chayefsky, Sidney Aaron Died: August 1, 1981
Born: January 29, 1923 Cause of Death: cancer
Birth Place: Bronx, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, playwright, novelist, producer, comic, actor, printer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Arguably the most influential writer to emerge from the Golden Age of television, screenwriter and playwright Paddy Chayefsky demonstrated an informed respect for common people and their everyday problems in a social realism that proved ideal for the new medium. But ultimately it was his scathing satirical bite demonstrated in "The Hospital" (1971) and "Network" (1976) that he was best remembered, for which he harnessed his righteous anger in skewing medicine and network television. Before those two Oscar-winning films, however, Chayefsky made his name in writing the famed kitchen sink television play, "Marty" (1953), which he adapted into an acclaimed award-winning film starring Ernest Borgnine two years later. After "The Bachelor Party" (1957) and "The Goddess" (1958), he wrote the semi-satirical black comedy "The Americanization of Emily" (1964) and the musical comedy-Western "Paint Your Wagon" (1969). Chayefsky turned his deep-rooted ire toward societal ills that were becoming more apparent during the counterculture, leading to writing "The Hospital" and "Network." Whether writing the social realism of "Marty" or the scathing satires of the 1970s, Chayefsky was that rare writer able to possess...

Arguably the most influential writer to emerge from the Golden Age of television, screenwriter and playwright Paddy Chayefsky demonstrated an informed respect for common people and their everyday problems in a social realism that proved ideal for the new medium. But ultimately it was his scathing satirical bite demonstrated in "The Hospital" (1971) and "Network" (1976) that he was best remembered, for which he harnessed his righteous anger in skewing medicine and network television. Before those two Oscar-winning films, however, Chayefsky made his name in writing the famed kitchen sink television play, "Marty" (1953), which he adapted into an acclaimed award-winning film starring Ernest Borgnine two years later. After "The Bachelor Party" (1957) and "The Goddess" (1958), he wrote the semi-satirical black comedy "The Americanization of Emily" (1964) and the musical comedy-Western "Paint Your Wagon" (1969). Chayefsky turned his deep-rooted ire toward societal ills that were becoming more apparent during the counterculture, leading to writing "The Hospital" and "Network." Whether writing the social realism of "Marty" or the scathing satires of the 1970s, Chayefsky was that rare writer able to possess tremendous name recognition and artistic control in a medium dominated by directors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 A Double Life (1948) Photographer
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Attempted to break into show business as a stand-up comic
:
Served in US Army Infantry; awarded the Purple Heart
:
Wrote first play, the musical "No T.O. for Love", while convalescing in England from injuries incurred from German land mine in WWII; show was performed for GIs throughout Europe and in London's West End
1945:
Uncredited feature film debut as co-commentary writer for the award-winning documentary "The True Glory"
:
Wrote short stories, documentary films and radio scripts for "Theatre Guild of the Air"
1947:
Played bit part in "A Double Life"
1951:
First story credit for "As Young as You Feel"
1952:
Began writing for TV, contributing to "Suspense" (CBS), "Manhunt" (NBC) and "Philco Television Playhouse" (NBC)
1953:
Became famous overnight after "Marty" aired on "Goodyear TV Playhouse"; subsequently penned such acclaimed 'Golden Age' teleplays as "The Bachelor Party", "Sixth Year" "The Catered Affair" and "Middle of the Night"
1955:
First film as screenwriter and associate producer, "Marty" (adapted from own TV script), directed by Delbert Mann (who had also helmed teleplay); earned first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay
1956:
First Broadway play, "Middle of the Night" (adapted from TV script), a romantic drama starring Edward G. Robinson (returning to the stage after a 25-year absence) and Gena Rowlands
1957:
Reteamed with Mann for feature film version of "The Bachelor Party", receiving credit as associate producer
1958:
Scripted "The Goddess", starring Kim Stanley
1959:
Third film with Mann, "Middle of the Night", featuring Kim Novak and Fredric March
1960:
"The Tenth Man" opened on Broadway
1961:
"Gideon" opened on Broadway; George Schaefer would direct a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" (NBC) version in 1971
1964:
Wrote screenplay for Arthur Hiller's "The Americanization of Emily"
1969:
Adapted the libretto for the ill-fated screen version of "Paint Your Wagon"
1971:
Won second Academy Award (for Best Original Screenplay) for Hiller's "The Hospital"
1976:
Receieved third Oscar for the scathingly satirical "Network"
1980:
Asked that his name be removed from credits of final feature film, "Altered States"; script credited to Sidney Aaron
1994:
PBS' "Great Performances" aired remake of his "The Mother", originally broadcast on "Goodyear TV Playhouse" (NBC); used orginial script
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

De Witt Clinton High School: Bronx , New York - 1939
City College of New York: New York , New York - 1943

Notes

Inducted into the Television Hall Academy Hall of Fame (1984)

The nickname 'Paddy' supposedly came from his attempts, while in the army, to avoid Sunday morning K.P. on the pretext of attending Mass.

"Television is democracy at its ugliest." --Paddy Chayefsky

The Boston Globe (April 15, 1958) reported Chayefsky telling Harvard students about New York's critics that "writers suffer more from the attacks of the nine incompetants--who are usually drunk--than they would from the most violent personal onslaught." The playwright later said the paper got it wrong. There are seven critics, and what he said was that "you cannot dismiss a whole city's critics as incompetent drunks."

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Susan Sackler. Married from February 24, 1949 until his death; died on July 1, 2000.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Harry Chayefsky.
mother:
Gussie Chayefsky.
son:
Daniel Chayefsky.

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Plays of Paddy Chayefsky"
"Altered States"

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