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Paddy Chayefsky

Sidney Chayefsky
writer
Born: 1/29/1923
Birthplace: Bronx, New York

Chayefsky's first foray into Hollywood in the 1940s ended when he left in disgust after losing control of a screenplay. He made his name instead as a leading figure in the rise of one-hour TV drama in the '50s, believing the medium a perfect vehicle for “minutely detailed studies of small moments of life.” Of the nine hour-long dramas he penned in 1952, four were remade as movies, including Marty, for which he won his first Oscar in 1955. Subsequent movie scripts, including The Goddess (1958) and Hospital (1971), which garnered a second Oscar for him, were often heavy on social commentary. He also adapted The Americanization of Emily (1964) and Paint Your Wagon (1969) for the big screen. He earned a third Oscar for Network (1976), an excoriation of television, which he by now believed depended on insincerity for its success. After disagreements with director Ken Russell, he had his name replaced by a pseudonym on his last movie, Altered States (1980). Chayefsky died of cancer at age 58.

Died: 8/1/1981

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