Leigh Brackett

Screenwriter, Novelist
While far more prolific in the realm of fantasy fiction, author-screenwriter Leigh Brackett contributed to a number of American cinema's most revered films. Starting out as a short fiction contributor to such pulp ... Read more »
Born: 12/07/1915 in Los Angeles, California, USA

Filmography

Writer (8)

The Empire Strikes Back 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Long Goodbye 1973 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rio Lobo 1970 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

El Dorado 1966 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Hatari! 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Gold of the Seven Saints 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rio Bravo 1959 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Big Sleep 1946 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biography

While far more prolific in the realm of fantasy fiction, author-screenwriter Leigh Brackett contributed to a number of American cinema's most revered films. Starting out as a short fiction contributor to such pulp magazines as <i>Astounding Science Fiction</i>, she attracted the attention of director Howard Hawks - who was astonished to discover Brackett was a woman - with her debut novel, the gritty crime tale <i>No Good from a Corpse</i> in 1944. Her first big splash as a screenwriter was for her collaboration with Hawks on his adaptation of Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep" (1946), starring Humphrey Bogart as private eye Phillip Marlowe. To the surprise of many, she quickly abandoned her burgeoning Hollywood career after she married sci-fi novelist Edmond Hamilton, moved to Ohio, and focused almost exclusively on her fiction work. That was until Hawks brought her back to help write the John Wayne adventure "Rio Bravo" (1959), one of the most influential Westerns ever filmed. Hawks was so comfortable working with Brackett that he hired her back for two more Wayne Westerns, "El Dorado" (1967) and "Rio Lobo" (1970), each a loose reworking of "Rio Bravo." She returned to Marlowe with director Robert Altman's sly and subversive take on Chandler's final novel "The Long Goodbye" (1973) and later delivered a first draft for George Lucas' "Star Wars" (1977) sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) before her passing at the age of 62. A pioneer and a consummate professional, Brackett was a rare and irreplaceable voice in film, prematurely cut short, who left an indelible mark on several time-transcending classics.

Relationships

Edmund Hamilton

Husband
married from 1944 until his death in 1977

Milestones

1980

Wrote first draft of "The Empire Strikes Back"; received co-author credit on final release

1973

For Robert Altman, adapted the Raymond Chandler novel "The Long Goodbye"

1969

Final screen collaboration with Hawks, co-wrote "Rio Lobo"

1963

Won Silver Spur Award for novel "Follow the Free Wind"

1962

Scripted John Wayne vehicle "Hatari!", directed by Hawks

1959

With Furthman, co-wrote Western "Rio Bravo", directed by Hawks

1958

Her novel "Markham" was adapted into TV pilot

1946

Received first solo screenwriting credit on "Crime Doctor's Manhunt"

1944

Co-wrote and provided story for "The Vampire's Ghost"

1943

Wrote first screenplay for Howard Hawks, "The Big Sleep", adapted from a Raymond Chandler novel; shared screen credit with William Faulkner and Jules Furthman; film was released in 1946

1942

Published novel, "No Good From a Corpse"

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