Sidney Sheldon


Novelist, Screenwriter
Sidney Sheldon

About

Also Known As
Sidney E Sheldon, Christopher Golato
Birth Place
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Born
February 11, 1917
Died
January 30, 2007
Cause of Death
Complications From Pneumonia

Biography

For six decades, Sidney Sheldon spun yarns and stories to the delight of America. First as a screenwriter working in the studio system, then as the creator of popular TV series, and, finally, as an internationally-published best-selling novelist, Sheldon entertained the multitudes and masses. His credits ran from the Cary Grant/Shirley Temple breezy comedy "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Sox...

Family & Companions

Jorja Curtright
Wife
Interior decorator, former actor. Married from 1951 until her death on May 11, 1985.
Alexandra Sheldon
Wife
Former advertising executive. Married in 1989.

Bibliography

"The Sky Is Falling"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (2000)
"Tell Me Your Dreams"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (1998)
"The Best Laid Plans"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (1997)
"Morning, Noon and Night"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (1995)

Notes

"It's not for the money that I write. I wouldn't know what else to do with my life. Writing novels is my greatest challenge--it's 100 percent me. I don't have actors telling me they can't deliver certain lines or a director who doesn't like the mountain setting but prefers the valley. . . ." --Sheldon to George Christy in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, September 20-22, 1996

Sheldon is a part-owner and major investor in Dove Books and Dove Audio. Dove Books became nationally known in 1994 when it published Faye Resnick's recollections of Nicole Brown and O J Simpson and then subsequent memoirs of Simpson trial jurors and others.

Biography

For six decades, Sidney Sheldon spun yarns and stories to the delight of America. First as a screenwriter working in the studio system, then as the creator of popular TV series, and, finally, as an internationally-published best-selling novelist, Sheldon entertained the multitudes and masses. His credits ran from the Cary Grant/Shirley Temple breezy comedy "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" (1947), for which he won an Oscar, to "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Hart to Hart" on TV to numerous novels. His stage credits included co-writing the Tony-winning libretto for Gwen Verdon's signature Broadway musical "Redhead" (1959).

After attending Northwestern University, Sheldon migrated to Hollywood, where he first worked at Universal at a reader earning $24 per week. His early credits include "Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case" (1941), one of a series of Dennis O'Keefe programmers based on the radio show. With Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, Sheldon went on to co-author both the classic "Easter Parade" (1948), featuring Irving Berlin's music and lead turns by Fred Astaire and Judy Garland, and "Annie Get Your Gun" (1950), originally intended for Garland who was replaced by Betty Hutton. Subsequent films, however, were often minor. "Three Guys Named Mike" (1951) had Jane Wyman as a flight attendant trying to decide which beau to marry while "You're Never Too Young" (1955) was a twist on 1942's "The Major and the Minor," rewritten to accommodate the talents of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Sheldon also directed and produced a few films, including "Dream Wife" (1953), in which Cary Grant married an Eastern Princess for good will reasons, and "The Buster Keaton Story" (1957), an unsuccessful rendition of the silent star's life starring Donald O'Connor.

While Sheldon worked steadily in feature films and was a respected screenwriter, he did not make the ranks of the prestigious legendary ones. His true fame and power base in Hollywood was yet to come. By the early 60s, Sheldon permanently drifted into TV. There had been a few earlier forays, such as the 1958 NBC special "Adventures of a Model," but it wasn't until he created "The Patty Duke Show" for ABC in 1963 that he had his first real hit. Even more successful was Sheldon's next venture, the longer-running "I Dream of Jeannie" (NBC, 1965-70), for which he contributed a number of scripts. He then created and executive produced "Nancy" (NBC, 1970-71), a short-lived sitcom about the daughter of a US president. In 1979, Sheldon created "Hart to Hart" for Aaron Spelling and ABC and co-wrote the two-hour pilot, a twist on "The Thin Man" formula. The successful series ran for several seasons and owed much to the chemistry of its stars, Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers, although Sheldon's participation ceased after the initial outing. Both "Hart to Hart" and "I Dream of Jeannie" returned as TV-movie specials in the late 80s and 90s and "Jeannie" has been developed as a potential feature film as well.

Yet, this small screen success was not to be Sheldon's shining glory. Rather, it was his career as a novelist which would make him internationally famous. His popular fiction has been translated worldwide with hundreds of millions of copies in print. Into the 90s, Sheldon could boast of being one of the few novelists to have each book turned into either a feature film or TV miniseries. His first, "The Naked Face," was published in 1970 and this tale of a psychiatrist was filmed in 1985. The small screen, however, has been more hospitable to his work and adaptations include "Rage of Angels" (NBC, 1983), with Jaclyn Smith; the multi-generational "Master of the Game" (CBS, 1984), with Dyan Cannon; "If Tomorrow Comes" (CBS, 1986), and "Sidney Sheldon's 'Windmills of the Gods'" (CBS, 1988).

In the late 80s, Sheldon joined producer Michael Viner and actress Deborah Raffin in forming Dove Audio Books and Dove Productions. By 1991, through the latter company, Sheldon took control of his own productions, and with Viner turned out "Sidney Sheldon's 'Memories of Midnight'," a syndicated miniseries starring Jane Seymour, Omar Sharif and Stephen Macht. Raffin starred in "Sidney Sheldon's 'The Sands of Time'" (syndicated, 1992). Other longforms include his tale of dreamers in Hollywood, "A Stranger in the Mirror" (ABC, 1993) and "Sidney Sheldon's 'Nothing Lasts Forever'" (CBS, 1995), about three medical residents.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Hart to Hart: Secrets of the Hart (1995)
Creator
Hart to Hart: Old Friends Never Die (1994)
Creator
Hart to Hart: Home Is Where the Hart Is (1994)
Creator
Hart to Hart: Crimes of the Hart (1994)
Creator
The Buster Keaton Story (1957)
Director
Dream Wife (1953)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
Rudy

Writer (Feature Film)

The Patty Duke Show: Still Rockin' in Brooklyn Heights (1999)
Characters As Source Material
I Still Dream of Jeannie (1991)
From Original Characters
I DREAM OF JEANNIE: 15YRS LATER (1985)
Characters As Source Material
Hart to Hart (1979)
Screenwriter
Hart to Hart (1979)
From Story
Jumbo (1962)
Screenwriter
All in a Night's Work (1961)
Screenwriter
The Buster Keaton Story (1957)
Writer
Anything Goes (1956)
Screenplay story and Screenplayeenplay
Pardners (1956)
Screenwriter
The Birds and the Bees (1956)
Screenwriter
You're Never Too Young (1955)
Screenwriter
Remains to Be Seen (1953)
Screenwriter
Dream Wife (1953)
Screenwriter
Just This Once (1952)
Screenwriter
Three Guys Named Mike (1951)
Screenwriter
No Questions Asked (1951)
Screenwriter
Rich, Young and Pretty (1951)
Screenwriter
Nancy Goes to Rio (1950)
Screenwriter
Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Screenwriter
Easter Parade (1948)
Screenwriter
The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer (1947)
Original story and Screenplay
She's in the Army (1942)
Original Screenplay
Fly-by-Night (1942)
Story
Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case (1941)
Original Screenplay
Dangerous Lady (1941)
Additional Dialogue
Gambling Daughters (1941)
Original Story
South of Panama (1941)
Original story and Screenplay
Borrowed Hero (1941)
Original Story

Producer (Feature Film)

The Buster Keaton Story (1957)
Producer
Dream Wife (1953)
Producer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

A Stranger in the Mirror (1993)
Source Material (From Novel)
The Naked Face (1985)
Source Material (From Novel)
Bloodline (1979)
Source Material (From Novel)
The Other Side of Midnight (1977)
Source Material (From Novel)

Cast (Special)

I Dream of Jeannie: The E! True Hollywood Story (2000)
Interviewee
The 1990 Miss America Pageant (1990)
Irving Berlin's America (1986)

Writer (Special)

Adventures of a Model (1958)
Writer

Special Thanks (Special)

Adventures of a Model (1958)
Writer

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Sidney Sheldon's Memories of Midnight (1991)

Writer (TV Mini-Series)

Harts in High Season (1996)
Characters As Source Material
Hart to Hart: Till Death Do Us Hart (1996)
Characters As Source Material
If Tomorrow Comes (1986)
Book As Source Material

Producer (TV Mini-Series)

Sidney Sheldon's "The Sands of Time" (1992)
Executive Producer
Sidney Sheldon's Memories of Midnight (1991)
Executive Producer
Windmills Of The Gods (1988)
Executive Producer
Rage of Angels: The Story Continues (1986)
Executive Producer
Rage of Angels (1983)
Executive Producer

Misc. Crew (TV Mini-Series)

Sidney Sheldon's Nothing Lasts Forever (1995)
Source Material (From Novel)
Sidney Sheldon's "The Sands of Time" (1992)
Source Material (From Novel)
Sidney Sheldon's Memories of Midnight (1991)
Source Material (From Novel)
Windmills Of The Gods (1988)
Source Material (From Novel)
Rage of Angels: The Story Continues (1986)
Source Material (From Novel)
Master of the Game (1984)
Source Material (From Novel)
Rage of Angels (1983)
Source Material (From Novel)

Life Events

1934

Moved to L.A.; worked as script reader at Universal

1941

Wrote screenplay for "Mr. District Attorney in the Carter Case"

1947

Won Oscar for screenplay "The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer"

1953

Wrote, directed and produced "Dream Wife"

1957

Wrote, directed and produced "The Buster Keaton Story"

1959

Co-wrote libretto for Broadway musical "Redhead"

1963

Created "The Patty Duke Show" (ABC)

1970

Published novel "The Naked Face"

1988

Donated $100,000 to two New York City high schools to start student newspapers

Videos

Movie Clip

No Questions Asked (1951) - I Was Very Popular That Night Opening with Barry Sullivan as, we’ll learn, insurance lawyer Kiever, eventually meeting his fianceè Ellen (Arlene Dahl) at the airport, maybe less concerned than he should be about her expectations, in No Questions Asked, 1951.
No Questions Asked (1951) - He Doesn't Let Me Dance Into his extended flashback, headed for trouble, insurance lawyer Kiever dips his toe into the underworld, hoping to please his boss by buying back stolen goods, at a night club where Natalie (Mari Blanchard) is the gatekeeper for mobster Callbert (Mauritz Hugo), in No Questions Asked, 1951.
No Questions Asked (1951) - Don't Talk To Any Strange Girls Now a brazen broker for stolen goods, lawyer Steve (Barry Sullivan) at the theater with his girlfriend, former colleague Joan (Jean Hagen), who in the powder room meets his ex-fianceè (Arlene Dahl), who drove him to wicked ways, then a bizarre crime, in No Questions Asked, 1951.
Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer, The (1947) - Let's Join The Ants! At the town picnic, Dickie (Cary Grant) and Tommy (Rudy Vallee) face off in the novelty races, aiming to impress sisters Susan (Shirley Temple) and Margaret (Myrna Loy) in Irving Reis' The Bachelor And The Bobby-Soxer. 1947.
Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer, The (1947) - America As I See It Opening scene and the first meeting between Judge Margaret Turner (Myrna Loy) and painter Dick Nugent (Cary Grant), his lawyer (Dan Tobin) and female acquaintances (Carol Hughes, Veda Ann Borg) with off-the-cuff testimony, in The Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer, 1947.
You're Never Too Young (1955) - It's Not Loaded Music teacher Bob (Dean Martin) rescues girlfriend and colleague Nancy (Diana Lynn), who’s about to be fired for consorting with a man on their recent train trip, explaining that it’s really just Wilbur (Jerry Lewis), who posed as a 12-year old in order to pay half fare, in You’re Never Too Young, 1955.
You're Never Too Young (1955) - I Know Your Mother Loves You Dean Martin as visiting Oregon music teacher Bob has commandeered the PA at Los Angeles Union Station to stage a song for his fellow teacher and girlfriend Nancy (Diana Lynn), tune by Arthur Schwartz and Sammy Cahn, in the Martin & Jerry Lewis vehicle You’re Never Too Young, 1955.
Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer, The (1947) - Editor In Chief Painter Nugent (Cary Grant) has just made a speech at an LA high school, accosted afterward by Susan (Shirley Temple) who, he doesn't know, is the sister and ward of the judge he met in court the same morning, early in The Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer, 1947.
Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer, The (1947) - Life Has No Meaning Nugent (Cary Grant), wrongly jailed for corrupting teen Susan (Shirley Temple), is visited in jail by psychologist Beemish (Ray Collins), who then appeals to Judge Turner (Myrna Loy), elder sister of the victim, in The Bachelor And The Bobby Soxer, 1947.
Easter Parade (1948) - I Want To Go Back To Michigan The first Irving Berlin song for Judy Garland, as waitress-showgirl Hannah, who doesn't realize Fred Astaire really is the headliner Don Hewes, recently jilted and out to prove he can make any girl a star, early in Easter Parade, 1948, from MGM and Arthur Freed.
Annie Get Your Gun - Anything You Can Do... Re-united and immediately arguing, Wild-West show colleagues and lovers Frank (Howard Keel) and Annie (Betty Hutton) duel with Irving Berlin's "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better," in Annie Get Your Gun, 1950.
Annie Get Your Gun - I'm An Indian Too! Hefty production number loaded with mid-century attitudes, Betty Hutton (as "Annie") leads the chorus in Irving Berlin's "I'm An Indian Too," staged by Nick Castle, in Annie Get Your Gun, 1950.

Trailer

Family

Otto Sheldon
Father
Salesman.
Natalie Sheldon
Mother
Mary Van Dusen
Daughter
Author. Married to illustrator Bob Van Dusen; mother, Jorja Sheldon.

Companions

Jorja Curtright
Wife
Interior decorator, former actor. Married from 1951 until her death on May 11, 1985.
Alexandra Sheldon
Wife
Former advertising executive. Married in 1989.

Bibliography

"The Sky Is Falling"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (2000)
"Tell Me Your Dreams"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (1998)
"The Best Laid Plans"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (1997)
"Morning, Noon and Night"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow (1995)
"Bloodline"
Sidney Sheldon (1977)
"The Other Side of Midnight"
Sidney Sheldon (1974)
"The Naked Face"
Signey Sheldon (1970)
"Rage of Angels"
Sidney Sheldon
"A Stranger in the Mirror"
Sidney Sheldon
"Master of the Game"
Sidney Sheldon
"If Tomorrow Comes"
Sidney Sheldon
"Windmills of the Gods"
Sidney Sheldon
"The Doomsday Conspiracy"
Sidney Sheldon, William Morrow
"Nothing Lasts Forever"
Sidney Sheldon
"The Sands of Time"
Sidney Sheldon
"Memories of Midnight"
Sidney Sheldon
"The Stars Shine Down"
Sidney Sheldon

Notes

"It's not for the money that I write. I wouldn't know what else to do with my life. Writing novels is my greatest challenge--it's 100 percent me. I don't have actors telling me they can't deliver certain lines or a director who doesn't like the mountain setting but prefers the valley. . . ." --Sheldon to George Christy in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, September 20-22, 1996

Sheldon is a part-owner and major investor in Dove Books and Dove Audio. Dove Books became nationally known in 1994 when it published Faye Resnick's recollections of Nicole Brown and O J Simpson and then subsequent memoirs of Simpson trial jurors and others.

Sheldon has often been interviewed on TV magazine shows and is usually asked how he writes. The answer: he dictates to an assistant who takes shorthand, then transcribes the result into typed pages he reviews.

Sheldon was inducted into the "Guiness Book of World Records" as the most translated author in the world.