Peter Stone


Playwright, Screenwriter

About

Also Known As
Peter H Stone, Peter Hess Stone, Pierre Marton
Birth Place
Los Angeles, California, USA
Born
February 27, 1930
Died
April 26, 2003
Cause of Death
Pulmonary Fibrosis

Biography

Peter Stone is an acclaimed Tony- and Oscar-winning writer who began in TV and moved to motion pictures and the theater. The son of a schoolteacher-turn-motion picture producer, Stone was raised in L.A. and after heading East for schooling began his career in live TV. He went on to script such well-received motion pictures as "Charade" (1963) and "Father Goose" (1964, for which he won an...

Family & Companions

Mary O'Hanley
Wife
Married on February 17, 1961.

Bibliography

"Charade"
Peter H Stone, Gold Medal (1963)

Biography

Peter Stone is an acclaimed Tony- and Oscar-winning writer who began in TV and moved to motion pictures and the theater. The son of a schoolteacher-turn-motion picture producer, Stone was raised in L.A. and after heading East for schooling began his career in live TV. He went on to script such well-received motion pictures as "Charade" (1963) and "Father Goose" (1964, for which he won an Academy Award) and has provided the book for several Broadway musicals, notably "1776" (1969) and "Woman of the Year" (1981).

Stone's theatrical work began in 1958 when his play, "Friend of the Family," was produced in St Louis. By 1961, he had written the book for the unsuccessful Broadway musical "Kean." His second venture, "Skyscraper" (1965), also didn't fare well at the box office. His first real success was "1776," an unlikely but powerful musical about the creation and signing of the Declaration of Independence. Winning the Tony as Best Musical, it had a healthy run on Broadway and was a modest success in London. Stone adapted Clifford Odets' "The Flowering Peach," about Noah and the ark, as a musical vehicle for Danny Kaye, with a score by Richard Rodgers. He later adapted the classic 1959 Billy Wilder film "Some Like It Hot" as "Sugar" (1972), which earned mixed reviews, and turned the 1942 Tracy-Hepburn comedy "Woman of the Year" into a 1981 star vehicle for Lauren Bacall. His polish of the book for "My One and Only" (1983) helped solidify Tommy Tune's reputation and Stone reportedly did uncredited work on Tune's staging of "Grand Hotel" in 1990. He and Tune again collaborated on the award-winning "The Will Rogers Follies" in 1992 and Stone wrote the poorly reviewed "Titanic" in 1997.

In motion pictures, Stone was a success almost immediately. His first produced screenplay, "Charade" (1963), which he also novelized, was a mystery with romance that paired Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn. It offered more twists, turns and surprises than one might think a movie could hold as a bevy of unsavory characters try to discover where Hepburn's deceased husband hid $250,000. Oddly, Stone won the Academy Award for his next screenplay, "Father Goose," again starring Grant as a beach bum-turned-lookout for the Australians during World War II who doubles as a guardian of schoolgirls. Although the 1964 film was well-received, it garnered neither the critical acclaim of "Charade" nor the box office success. Stone continued to excel at adaptations, with the musical "Sweet Charity" (1969) and "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3" (1980), based on the mystery novel about a nefarious gang who hijack a subway train. Later came "Why Would I Lie?" (1980), which put Treat Williams as a social worker trying to unite a youth with his ex-con mother. Stone took a long sojourn from the big screen until "Just Cause" (1995), which starred Sean Connery as a famed law professor trying to prove Blair Underwood innocent of a crime for which he was convicted.

The writer's small screen work dates back to an episode of "Studio One" (CBS, 1956), and also includes episodes of "The Defenders" (CBS, 1961-62). Stone was involved in the creation of the TV adaptation of "Adam's Rib" (ABC, 1973-74), a sitcom based on the 1949 Tracy-Hepburn classic, and "Ivan the Terrible" (CBS, 1976), a short-lived but witty series with Lou Jacobi as the head of an extended Moscow. Stone also adapted George Bernard Shaw's "Androcles and the Lion" (NBC, 1968) and penned "Grand Larceny," a 1989 syndicated TV-movie about a female master thief. Stone has also appeared on talk shows and retrospectives, and was a frequent panelist on the PBS show "The Week in Review."

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Funny (1989)
Far From the Madding Crowd (1967)
Teddy Coggan

Writer (Feature Film)

The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Source Material
The Truth About Charlie (2002)
Source Material
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1998)
From Screenplay
Just Cause (1995)
Screenwriter
Why Would I Lie? (1980)
Screenwriter
Silver Bears (1978)
Screenwriter
Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
Screenwriter
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)
Screenplay
1776 (1972)
Screenwriter
Skin Game (1971)
Screenwriter
Sweet Charity (1969)
Screenwriter
The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968)
Screenwriter
Arabesque (1966)
Screenwriter
Mirage (1965)
Screenwriter
Father Goose (1964)
Screenwriter
Charade (1963)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

The Secret War of Harry Frigg (1968)
Associate Producer

Cast (Special)

Betty Buckley (1999)
Music By Richard Rodgers (1990)
Bob Fosse: Steam Heat (1990)

Writer (Special)

The 46th Annual Tony Awards (1992)
Writer
The 44th Annual Tony Awards (1990)
Writer
Baby on Board (1988)
Writer
I Love Liberty (1982)
Writer
Happy Endings (1975)
Writer
Androcles and the Lion (1967)
Writer

Producer (Special)

Baby on Board (1988)
Producer

Special Thanks (Special)

The 46th Annual Tony Awards (1992)
Writer
The 44th Annual Tony Awards (1990)
Writer
Baby on Board (1988)
Writer
I Love Liberty (1982)
Writer
Happy Endings (1975)
Writer
Androcles and the Lion (1967)
Writer

Writer (TV Mini-Series)

Annie Get Your Gun (2003)
Screenwriter
Grand Larceny (1989)
Screenplay

Life Events

1956

Wrote teleplay for "Studio One"

1958

First play, "Friend of the Family", produced in St Louis, MO

1960

Wrote book for Broadway musical "Kean"

1961

Wrote for CBS TV series "The Defenders"

1963

Had first screenplay produced, "Charade"

1964

Wrote screenplay for "Father Goose"; won Oscar

1969

Wrote book for Tony-winning musical "1776", about the writing and signing of the Declaration of Independence

1969

Adapted Neil Simon's "Sweet Charity" as a feature

1970

Provided book for "Two by Two", a musical version of Clifford Odets' "The Flowering Peach", about Noah and the building of the ark

1972

Adapted "1776" for the screen

1972

Wrote stage musical adaptation of Billy Wilder's "Some Like It Hot"; show called "Sugar"

1973

Play "Full Circle" produced on Broadway

1981

Wrote book for "Woman of the Year"; won Tony Award

1983

First stage collaboration with Tommy Tune, as book writer for "My One and Only"

1990

Reportedly did uncredited script doctoring on "Grand Hotel", directed by Tommy Tune

1991

Provided book for "The Will Rogers Follies", directed by Tune

1995

Co-wrote feature "Just Cause"

1997

Scripted the musical "Titanic"

1999

Adapted the original book for the stage musical revival of "Annie Get Your Gun", starring Bernadette Peters

2003

Penned the the original book for the Broadway musical "Curtains" which was adapted by Rupert Holmes for Broadway; premiered in 2007 starring David Hyde Pierce; earned a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical

Videos

Movie Clip

Sweet Charity (1969) - Open, The Adventures Of A Girl From first-time movie director Bob Fosse and composer Cy Coleman, a breezy contemporary Manhattan opening, introducing Shirley MacLaine in the title role, in the box-office flop big-screen version of Fosse's Broadway musical, Sweet Charity, 1969.
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The (1974) - We Call It The Nerve Center Transit cop Zach Garber (Walter Matthau) introduces Lt. Patrone (Jerry Stiller) as he shows Tokyo subway officials the inner-workings of the New York system in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974.
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The - Fiorello LaGuardia Warren the deputy mayor (Tony Roberts) takes charge as Al the mayor (Lee Wallace) and his wife (Doris Roberts) consider whether to pay ransom in Joseph Sargent's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974.
Father Goose (1964) - Open, Pass Me By Opening with an an original song by Cy Coleman and Caroline Leigh (which became a hit for Peggy Lee), a rough Cary Grant is introduced as the title character, then Jack Good and Trevor Howard as British officers evacuating Papua, New Guinea, ca. 1942, Ralph Nelson directing Father Goose, 1964, co-starring Leslie Caron.
Father Goose (1964) - Thanks For Volunteering British officer Houghton (Trevor Howard), with aide Stebbins (Jack Good) tricking Papua, New Guinea American layabout Walter (Cary Grant, title character) into using his pilfered yacht to become a coast-watcher, observing the 1942 Japanese invasion, in Father Goose, 1964, co-starring Leslie Caron.
Father Goose (1964) - If You're Waiting For The Big Finalè... Sent to a neighboring island seeking a fellow WWII shore-watcher, Cary Grant as booze-seeking Walter (title character) unexpectedly found a French teacher (Leslie Caron) and her charges, as he now explains to Cmdr. Houghton (Trevor Howard) his British overseer, in Father Goose, 1964.
Father Goose (1964) - Make That One A Bunny Suit Accustomed to receiving clues for his hidden booze rations from the Brits (Trevor Howard) on the radio, WWII Pacific shore watcher Walter (Cary Grant) discovers his unwanted French schoolteacher lodger Catherine (Leslie Caron) has intervened, and has her own requests, in Father Goose, 1964.
1776 (1972) - Sit Down, John! Roaring opening scene featuring William Daniels (as John Adams), first with McNair (William Duell), then addressing the congress, from Jack L. Warner's final production, the musical 1776, 1972, directed by Peter H. Hunt, songs by Sherman Edwards.
Taking of Pelham One Two Three, The (1974) - Taking Your Train Mr. Blue (Robert Shaw), Green (Martin Balsam), Grey (Hector Elizondo) and Brown (Earl Hindman) take the train in the dramatic opening of director Joseph Sargent's The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, 1974.
Charade (1963) - Bang On The Wall Just off a phone call warning her that her supposed guardian Peter (Cary Grant) may not be legit, newly-widowed Reggie (Audrey Hepburn) calls her Paris CIA contact Bartholomew (Walter Matthau), whom she meets after some spycraft by director Stanley Donen, in Charade, 1963.
Charade (1963) - How Do You Shave In There? Reggie (Audrey Hepburn), whose mysterious husband whom she didn’t like has been murdered, is growing fond of the attention of Peter (Cary Grant) who, as far as we know, has nothing to do with the intrigue, when thug George Kennedy turns up, in director Stanley Donen’s Charade, 1963,
Mirage (1965) - She's Looking For A Way Out New York executive Stillwell (Gregory Peck), calling a psychiatrist because he’s afraid he’s cracking up, is advised to kill time at the Central Park zoo, where he meets Shela (Diane Baker), who, as in their earlier mysterious encounter, seems to know some history he doesn’t, in Mirage, 1965.

Trailer

Family

John Stone
Father
Producer, former teacher.
Hilda Stone
Mother

Companions

Mary O'Hanley
Wife
Married on February 17, 1961.

Bibliography

"Charade"
Peter H Stone, Gold Medal (1963)