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Ernest Lehman
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    (December 8, 1915-July 2, 2005)
    Born in New York City
    Ernest Paul Lehman
    Wrote the novels 'The French Atlantic Affair,' 'Tell Me About it Tomorrow' and 'Farewell Performance'
    Wrote screenplays for 'The King and I,' 'North by Northwest,' 'Sabrina,' 'The Sound of Music,' 'Sweet Smell of Success,' 'West Side Story,' 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' and 'Hello Dolly!'
    Served as president of the Writers Guild of America from 1983 - 85
    He was nominated for an Oscar six times and didn't win.
    He had his third child with his second wife when he was eighty-six years old.
    He began his writing career hunting gossip for Walter Winchell.
    He turned down offers to write screenplays for 'Silence of the Lambs' and 'Mission: Impossible.'
    A majority of his screenplays were either adaptations of popular stage musicals/plays or from existing novels.
    He fell ill during the filming of 'Sweet Smell of Success' - leaving the screenplay (adapted from his own novella) to be finished by Clifford Odets.
    He admitted to trying to climb Mount Rushmore while researching to write the famous monument scene into his North by Northwest script, before realizing halfway up that he could die if he slipped and fell.
    He received two Edgar Awards of the Mystery Writers of America, for 'North by Northwest' and 'Family Plot' (1959; 1976).
    He wrote screenplays for some of the best films ever made.
    He initially came to Alfred Hitchcock's attention after turning down 'The Wreck of Mary Deare.' Unaccustomed to rejection Hitchcock actively courted him.
    He would later learn that Hitchcock had no interest in the Mary Deare film either, and the two resolved to go forward with an entirely original project (which evolved into 'North by Northwest').
    He was among the few who saw potential in adapting Edward Albee's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' for the screen, pressuring Jack Warner to let him produce it himself. It would be released to almost universal critical praise.
    He received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of his achievements and his influential works for the screen, making him the first screenwriter to receive such an honor (2001).
    He has been honored with more Writers Guild of America Awards than any other screenwriter in film history.
    He based his original 'Sweet Smell of Success' story on his real-life experiences working for Hollywood Reporter's Irving Hoffman.
    Hoffman didn't speak to him for a year and a half after reading the story, but also penned an article asserting that he would 'make a great screenwriter' - helping to launch his Hollywood career in the process.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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