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Ring Lardner, Jr.
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Screenwriter
    (August 19, 1915-October 31, 2000)
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Son of humorist Ring Lardner
    Won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay for 'Woman of the Year' (1942) and for Best Adapted Screenplay for 'M*A*S*H' (1970)
    Also wrote 'The Cross of Lorraine' (1943), 'Tomorrow the World!' (1944), 'Brotherhood of Man' (1945), 'Forever Amber' (1947), 'The Big Night' (1951), 'The Cincinnati Kid' (1965) and 'The Greatest' (1977)
    Member of the Hollywood Ten
    He married his brother's widow.
    He hinted that he had written a third Oscar-winning screenplay during the blacklist, but refused to identify the film, claiming it would be unfair to the writer who had helped by serving as a front. (If it is so unfair to the writer, maybe you should have just kept quiet.)
    Although he won an Oscar for M*A*S*H, little of his screenplay was actually filmed, thanks to director Robert Altman's extensive use of improvisation.
    He predicted that 'M*A*S*H' had no future as a TV series.
    He said 'I've never regretted my association with Communism.' (1987)
    He developed a stutter when he was forced to write with his right hand instead of his natural left.
    He was married to Frances Chaney for 54 years until his death.
    He responded to questions about his political beliefs from the House Un-American Activities Committee with 'I could answer the question exactly the way you want, but if I did, I would hate myself in the morning.'
    He served nine months in prison for refusing to testify.
    He was the last survivor of the Hollywood Ten.

Credit: C. Fishel


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