Paddy Chayefsky

Screenwriter, Playwright, Novelist
Arguably the most influential writer to emerge from the Golden Age of television, screenwriter and playwright Paddy Chayefsky demonstrated an informed respect for common people and their everyday problems in a social ... Read more »
Born: 01/29/1923 in Bronx, New York, USA

Filmography

Writer (20)

The Mother 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

Altered States 1980 (Movie)

("Altered States") (Source Material (from novel))

Altered States 1980 (Movie)

(credited as Sidney Aaron) (Screenplay)

Network 1976 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Gideon 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

The Hospital 1971 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Hospital 1971 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Paint Your Wagon 1969 (Movie)

adaptation (Writer (adaptation))

Paint Your Wagon 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Americanization of Emily 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Middle of the Night 1959 (Movie)

("Middle of the Night") (Play as Source Material)

Middle of the Night 1959 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Goddess 1958 (Movie)

(From Story)

The Goddess 1958 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Bachelor Party 1957 (Movie)

from teleplay (Play as Source Material)

The Bachelor Party 1957 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Catered Affair 1956 (Movie)

from teleplay (Play as Source Material)

Marty 1955 (Movie)

from teleplay("Marty") (Play as Source Material)

Marty 1955 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Marty 1952 - 1953 (TV Show)

Writer
Producer (2)

Network 1976 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Bachelor Party 1957 (Movie)

(Associate Producer)
Actor (1)

A Double Life (Movie)

Photographer [uncredited] (Actor)

Biography

Arguably the most influential writer to emerge from the Golden Age of television, screenwriter and playwright Paddy Chayefsky demonstrated an informed respect for common people and their everyday problems in a social realism that proved ideal for the new medium. But ultimately it was his scathing satirical bite demonstrated in "The Hospital" (1971) and "Network" (1976) that he was best remembered, for which he harnessed his righteous anger in skewing medicine and network television. Before those two Oscar-winning films, however, Chayefsky made his name in writing the famed kitchen sink television play, "Marty" (1953), which he adapted into an acclaimed award-winning film starring Ernest Borgnine two years later. After "The Bachelor Party" (1957) and "The Goddess" (1958), he wrote the semi-satirical black comedy "The Americanization of Emily" (1964) and the musical comedy-Western "Paint Your Wagon" (1969). Chayefsky turned his deep-rooted ire toward societal ills that were becoming more apparent during the counterculture, leading to writing "The Hospital" and "Network." Whether writing the social realism of "Marty" or the scathing satires of the 1970s, Chayefsky was that rare writer able to possess tremendous name recognition and artistic control in a medium dominated by directors.

Relationships

Gussie Chayefsky

Mother

Daniel Chayefsky

Son

Harry Chayefsky

Father

Susan Sackler

Wife
married from February 24, 1949 until his death died on July 1, 2000

EDUCATION

De Witt Clinton High School

Bronx , New York 1939

City College of New York

New York , New York 1943

Milestones

1994

PBS' "Great Performances" aired remake of his "The Mother", originally broadcast on "Goodyear TV Playhouse" (NBC); used orginial script

1980

Asked that his name be removed from credits of final feature film, "Altered States"; script credited to Sidney Aaron

1976

Receieved third Oscar for the scathingly satirical "Network"

1970

Won second Academy Award (for Best Original Screenplay) for Hiller's "The Hospital"

1968

Adapted the libretto for the ill-fated screen version of "Paint Your Wagon"

1964

Wrote screenplay for Arthur Hiller's "The Americanization of Emily"

1961

"Gideon" opened on Broadway; George Schaefer would direct a "Hallmark Hall of Fame" (NBC) version in 1971

1960

"The Tenth Man" opened on Broadway

1959

Third film with Mann, "Middle of the Night", featuring Kim Novak and Fredric March

1958

Scripted "The Goddess", starring Kim Stanley

1957

Reteamed with Mann for feature film version of "The Bachelor Party", receiving credit as associate producer

1956

First Broadway play, "Middle of the Night" (adapted from TV script), a romantic drama starring Edward G. Robinson (returning to the stage after a 25-year absence) and Gena Rowlands

1955

First film as screenwriter and associate producer, "Marty" (adapted from own TV script), directed by Delbert Mann (who had also helmed teleplay); earned first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay

1953

Became famous overnight after "Marty" aired on "Goodyear TV Playhouse"; subsequently penned such acclaimed 'Golden Age' teleplays as "The Bachelor Party", "Sixth Year" "The Catered Affair" and "Middle of the Night"

1952

Began writing for TV, contributing to "Suspense" (CBS), "Manhunt" (NBC) and "Philco Television Playhouse" (NBC)

1951

First story credit for "As Young as You Feel"

1947

Played bit part in "A Double Life"

1944

Uncredited feature film debut as co-commentary writer for the award-winning documentary "The True Glory"

Wrote first play, the musical "No T.O. for Love", while convalescing in England from injuries incurred from German land mine in WWII; show was performed for GIs throughout Europe and in London's West End

Wrote short stories, documentary films and radio scripts for "Theatre Guild of the Air"

Served in US Army Infantry; awarded the Purple Heart

Attempted to break into show business as a stand-up comic

Bonus Trivia

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Inducted into the Television Hall Academy Hall of Fame (1984)

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The nickname 'Paddy' supposedly came from his attempts, while in the army, to avoid Sunday morning K.P. on the pretext of attending Mass.

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"Television is democracy at its ugliest." --Paddy Chayefsky

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The Boston Globe (April 15, 1958) reported Chayefsky telling Harvard students about New York's critics that "writers suffer more from the attacks of the nine incompetants--who are usually drunk--than they would from the most violent personal onslaught." The playwright later said the paper got it wrong. There are seven critics, and what he said was that "you cannot dismiss a whole city's critics as incompetent drunks."

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