Norman Panama

Screenwriter, Producer, Director
For thirty years (1936-66), this American screenwriter, director and producer of popular comedy fare worked mostly successfully in collaboration with college chum Melvin Frank, forming an unusual partnership in which ... Read more »
Born: 04/21/1914 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Writer (31)

Are We Done Yet? 2007 (Movie)

(from screenplay: "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House") (Source Material)

Get Christie Love! 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Writer

I Will... I Will... For Now 1974 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Not With My Wife, You Don't 1965 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Not With My Wife, You Don't 1965 (Movie)

(From Story)

Strange Bedfellows 1964 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Road to Hong Kong 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Facts of Life 1960 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Trap 1959 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Li'l Abner 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Li'l Abner 1958 (Movie)

("Li'l Abner") (Play as Source Material)

That Certain Feeling 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Court Jester 1956 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Knock on Wood 1954 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

White Christmas 1954 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Callaway Went Thataway 1951 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Callaway Went Thataway 1951 (Movie)

(From Story)

Strictly Dishonorable 1951 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Monsieur Beaucaire 1946 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Road to Utopia 1946 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Duffy's Tavern 1945 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Thank Your Lucky Stars 1942 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

My Favorite Blonde 1941 (Movie)

(From Story)

A Southern Yankee (Movie)

(Screen Story)

Above and Beyond (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

And the Angels Sing (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Happy Go Lucky (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

Our Hearts Were Growing Up (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The Reformer and the Redhead (Movie)

(Screenwriter)

The Return of October (Movie)

(Screenwriter)
Producer (14)

Not With My Wife, You Don't 1965 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Road to Hong Kong 1961 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Facts of Life 1960 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Trap 1959 (Movie)

(Producer)

Li'l Abner 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Jayhawkers 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

That Certain Feeling 1956 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Court Jester 1956 (Movie)

(Producer)

Knock on Wood 1954 (Movie)

(Producer)

Callaway Went Thataway 1951 (Movie)

(Producer)

Strictly Dishonorable 1951 (Movie)

(Producer)

Above and Beyond (Movie)

(Producer)

The Reformer and the Redhead (Movie)

(Producer)
Director (13)

I Will... I Will... For Now 1974 (Movie)

(Director)

How to Commit Marriage 1969 (Movie)

(Director)

Not With My Wife, You Don't 1965 (Movie)

(Director)

The Road to Hong Kong 1961 (Movie)

(Director)

The Trap 1959 (Movie)

(Director)

That Certain Feeling 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

The Court Jester 1956 (Movie)

(Director)

Knock on Wood 1954 (Movie)

(Director)

Callaway Went Thataway 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

Strictly Dishonorable 1951 (Movie)

(Director)

Above and Beyond (Movie)

(Director)

Coffee, Tea or Me? (TV Show)

Director

The Reformer and the Redhead (Movie)

(Director)
Actor (1)

Remembering Bing 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor
Other (1)

Brooklyn Bridge 1991 - 1992 (Tv Show)

Film Clips

Biography

For thirty years (1936-66), this American screenwriter, director and producer of popular comedy fare worked mostly successfully in collaboration with college chum Melvin Frank, forming an unusual partnership in which they not only shared writing and producing duties, but also co-directed features. Panama and Frank met while undergraduates at the University of Chicago, where they formed a writing team. Migrating to Hollywood in 1938, they wrote comedy material for Bob Hope's radio broadcasts, eventually, working for Phil Baker and Rudy Vallee as well. In 1942, the duo was hired by Paramount and they contributed the story to the farcical Hope vehicle "My Favorite Blonde," in which the comic was the trainer of penguins unwittingly used to transport data for a female spy. Based on this success, Panama and Frank went on to script several lightweight but affable movies, including "Happy Go Lucky" (1943), wherein Rudy Vallee is chased by Mary Martin, and the Eddie Cantor musical "Thank You Lucky Stars" (also 1943). The failure of the all-star "Duffy's Tavern" (1945), which attempted to transfer a radio show to the big screen, might have signaled the end of their career had they not sent Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour to the Klondike in "The Road to Utopia" (also 1945) which earned the writing team its first Oscar nomination.

Relationships

Herman H Panama

Father

Tessie Panama

Mother

Kathleen Panama

Daughter

Steven Panama

Son

Gloria Dobson

Wife
divorced in 1981

Marcia Engel

Wife
divorced in 1970

EDUCATION

University of Chicago

Chicago , Illinois 1938

University of Chicago

Chicago , Illinois 1935
met future collaborator Melvin Frank

Milestones

1980

Published novel "The Glass Bed", co-authored with Albert E Lewin

1976

Directed Australian TV production "Barnaby and Me"

1975

Last feature credit to date, as director and co-writer (with Lewin) of "I Will ... I Will ... For Now"

1974

Wrote episode of the ABC police drama "Get Christy Love" with Lewin

1973

Co-wrote (with Lewin) and directed CBS TV-movie "Coffee, Tea or Me?"

1968

Directed both "How to Commit Marriage" and "The Maltese Bippy"

1966

Final screen collaboration with Melvin Frank, "Not With My Wife You Don't"

1959

Produced the film version of "Li'l Abner", directed by Frank

1958

Solo directing debut, "The Trap"; also co-wrote and co-produced

1956

With Frank, co-wrote book for Broadway musical "Li'l Abner"

1953

Co-wrote, co-directed and co-produced "Knock on Wood"

1949

With Frank, co-directed first feature, "The Reformer and the Redhead"; also co-produced and co-wrote

1944

Earned first Academy Award nomination for "The Road to Utopia"; co-written with Frank

1941

First film credit (with Melvin Frank), contributed story to "My Favorite Blonde"

1939

Contributed sketches to Broadway revue, "Keep Off the Grass"

1938

Wrote radio comedy material for Bob Hope, Phil Baker and Rudy Vallee

Formed writing partnership with Albert E Lewin

Bonus Trivia

.

Some sources list 1909 and 1913 as Mr. Panama's birthyear as well as August 13 as his birthdate.

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