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In Memoriam



Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind


Oscar Winner Delbert Mann, Director of MARTY


Tuesday, November 20----------Delbert Mann, who directed the acclaimed live TV production of  MARTY, the classic tale of a lonely Bronx butcher by pioneering television scenarist Paddy Chayefsky, and then won an Academy Award for the 1955 movie version, passed away last week at the age of 87. MARTY, which was the first and most successful of the television-to-film-adaptations, was one of the most celebrated films of the 1950s, winning Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor (Ernest Borgnine), Best Screenplay (Paddy Chayefsky) and Mann's win as Best Director. The film won most Film Critics Awards in 1955 and also several BAFTA honors, as well as the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Considered one of the premier directors of the golden age of live television, Mann directed MARTY, starring newcomer Rod Steiger in the title role, for NBC in 1953. When Chayefsky turned his story into a screenplay, he insisted that Mann direct it. The film was his auspicious feature debut, winning for the first-time director the Oscar and many other honors. The film, produced by Burt Lancaster, was also the first teleplay to be transferred to the movies. Mann, who also won a best director award from the Directors Guild of America for MARTY went on to direct 15 more feature films, including THE BACHELOR PARTY, THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS, an adaptation of Eugene O'Neill's DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS, the Oscar winner SEPERATE TABLES and the Doris Day comedies LOVER COME BACK (with Rock Hudson) and THAT TOUCH OF MINK (with Cary Grant).

Between 1949 and 1955, Mann directed more than 100 live television dramas. But even after turning to films, he returned to television and directed productions for such television anthology series as  "Playhouse 90," and "Ford Star Jubilee". He also directed more than two dozen films for television from the late 1960s to the early '90s, including "Heidi," "David Copperfield," "Jane Eyre," "Kidnapped" and "The Member of the Wedding." Mann, who served as president of the Directors Guild of America from 1967 to 1971, received the DGA's Honorary Life Member Award in 2002.

Sandy Mandelberger, In Memoriam Editor

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About In Memoriam

Mandelberger Sandy
(International Media Resources)




Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind

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