Sidney Sheldon

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Sidney Sheldon
Sidney Sheldon.jpg
BornSidney Schechtel
(1917-02-11)February 11, 1917
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedJanuary 30, 2007(2007-01-30) (aged 89)
Rancho Mirage, California, United States
OccupationNovelist
NationalityAmerican
Period1969–2007
Genre Crime fiction,
Thriller
SpouseJane Kaufman Harding (1945–1948; divorced)
Jorja Curtright (1951–1985; her death; 1 child)
Alexandra Joyce Kostoff (1989–2007; his death)

Sidney Sheldon (February 11, 1917 – January 30, 2007) was an American writer and producer.

Contents

He came to prominence in the 1930s, first working on Broadway plays and then in motion pictures, notably writing the successful comedy The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947) which earned him an Academy Award. He went on to work in television, where his works spanned a 20-year period during which he created The Patty Duke Show (1963–66), I Dream of Jeannie (1965–70) and Hart to Hart (1979–84). He became most famous after he turned 50 and began writing best-selling romantic suspense novels, such as Master of the Game (1982), The Other Side of Midnight (1973) and Rage of Angels (1980). He is the seventh best selling fiction writer of all time. [1]

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

<i>The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer</i> 1947 film by Dore Schary, Irving Reis

The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer is a 1947 American comedy film directed by Irving Reis and written by Sidney Sheldon. The film stars Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, and Shirley Temple in a story about a teenager's crush on an older man. The film was a critical success. Sheldon won an Academy Award for the screenplay.

<i>The Patty Duke Show</i> television series

The Patty Duke Show is an American sitcom that ran on ABC from September 18, 1963 to April 27, 1966, with reruns airing through August 31. The show was created as a vehicle for rising star Patty Duke. 105 episodes were produced, 104 of them airing over three seasons. Most episodes were written by either Sidney Sheldon or William Asher, the show's creators.

Early life

Sheldon was born Sidney Schechtel in Chicago, Illinois. His parents, of Russian Jewish ancestry, were Ascher "Otto" Schechtel (1894–1967), manager of a jewelry store, and Natalie Marcus. At 10, Sidney made his first sale, US$5 for a poem. During the Depression, he worked at a variety of jobs, and after graduating from East High School (Denver), he attended Northwestern University on a scholarship and contributed short plays to drama groups. He had to drop out after six months during the Depression era to help support his family. [2]

Chicago City in Illinois, United States

Chicago, officially the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois and the third most populous city in the United States. As of the 2017 census-estimate, it has a population of 2,716,450, which makes it the most populous city in the Midwestern United States. Chicago is the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States, and the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area, which is often referred to as "Chicagoland." The Chicago metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America, and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area.

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

East High School (Denver) public high school located in the City Park neighborhood on the east side of Denver, Colorado

East High School is a public high school located in the City Park neighborhood on the east side of Denver, Colorado. It is part of the Denver Public Schools system, and is one of four original high schools in Denver, the other three are North, West, and South.

Career

In 1937, Sheldon moved to Hollywood, California, where he reviewed scripts and collaborated on a number of B movies. [3] Sheldon enlisted in the military during World War II as a pilot in the War Training Service, a branch of the Army Air Corps, [3] His unit was disbanded before he saw any action. Returning to civilian life, he moved to New York City where he began writing musicals for the Broadway stage while continuing to write screenplays for both MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures. He earned a reputation as a prolific writer; for example, at one time he had three musicals on Broadway: a rewritten The Merry Widow , Jackpot, and Dream with Music. [4] His success on Broadway brought him back to Hollywood where his first assignment was The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer , which earned him the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay of 1947. He was one of the writers on the screenplay for the 1948 musical film Easter Parade and sole writer for the 1950 musical film Annie Get Your Gun , both of which featured the songs of Irving Berlin.

California State of the United States of America

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

B movie Low budget commercial film genre

A B movie or B film is a low-budget commercial movie, but not an arthouse film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified films intended for distribution as the less-publicized bottom half of a double feature. Although the U.S. production of movies intended as second features largely ceased by the end of the 1950s, the term B movie continues to be used in its broader sense to this day. In its post-Golden Age usage, there is ambiguity on both sides of the definition: on the one hand, the primary interest of many inexpensive exploitation films is prurient; on the other, many B movies display a high degree of craft and aesthetic ingenuity.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

When television became the new popular medium, he decided to try his hand in it. "I suppose I needed money," he remembered. "I met Patty Duke one day at lunch. So I produced The Patty Duke Show , and I did something nobody else in TV ever did. For seven years, I wrote almost every single episode of the series." [4]

Patty Duke American actress

Anna Marie "Patty" Duke was an American actress, appearing on stage, film, and television. Her first big break came from her Academy Award winning performance at age 16 for portraying Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), a role that she had originated on Broadway. The following year she was given her own show, The Patty Duke Show, in which she played the dual role of "identical cousins" Cathy and Patty Lane. She later progressed to more mature roles such as that of Neely O'Hara in the film Valley of the Dolls (1967). Over the course of her career, she received ten Emmy Award nominations and three Emmy Awards, and two Golden Globe Awards. Duke also served as president of the Screen Actors Guild from 1985 to 1988.

Sheldon created, produced and wrote I Dream of Jeannie in his co-production capacity with Screen Gems. He wrote all but two dozen scripts in five years, sometimes using three pseudonyms (Mark Rowane, Allan Devon, Christopher Golato) while simultaneously writing scripts for The Patty Duke Show. He also used the same pseudonyms in writing all seventeen episodes of Nancy . He later admitted that he did this because he felt his name was appearing too often in the credits as creator, producer, copyright owner and writer of these series. He also created and wrote for the series Hart to Hart .

<i>I Dream of Jeannie</i> television series

I Dream of Jeannie is an American fantasy sitcom starring Barbara Eden as a 2,000-year-old genie and Larry Hagman as an astronaut who becomes her master, with whom she falls in love and eventually marries. Produced by Screen Gems, the show originally aired from September 18, 1965 to May 26, 1970 with new episodes, and through September 1970 with season repeats, on NBC. The show ran for five seasons and produced 139 episodes.

Screen Gems

Screen Gems, Inc. is an American film production and distribution studio that is a division of Sony Pictures' Motion Picture Group, a subsidiary of Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony. It has served several different purposes for its parent companies over the decades since its incorporation. The label currently specializes in genre films, mainly horror.

<i>Nancy</i> (TV series) American sitcom

Nancy is an American sitcom that aired on NBC during the 1970-1971 television season, with Renne Jarrett in the title role.

Production for I Dream of Jeannie ended in 1970 after five seasons. It was "During the last year of I Dream of Jeannie, I decided to try a novel," he said in 1982. "Each morning from 9 until noon, I had a secretary at the studio take all calls. I mean every single call. I wrote each morning — or rather, dictated — and then I faced the TV business." [4]

In 1969, Sheldon wrote his first novel, The Naked Face, which earned him a nomination for the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America in the category of Best First Novel. His next novel, The Other Side of Midnight, climbed to #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list as did several ensuing novels, a number of which were also made into motion pictures or TV miniseries. His novels often featured determined women who persevere in a tough world run by hostile men. [4] The novels contained a lot of suspense and devices to keep the reader turning the page: [4]

"I try to write my books so the reader can't put them down," he explained in a 1982 interview. "I try to construct them so when the reader gets to the end of it, he or she has to read just one more chapter. It's the technique of the old Saturday afternoon serial: leave the guy hanging on the edge of the cliff at the end of the chapter."

Most of his readers were women. [4] Asked why this was the case he said: "I like to write about women who are talented and capable, but most important, retain their femininity. Women have tremendous power — their femininity, because men can't do without it." [4] Books were Sheldon's favorite medium. "I love writing books," he commented. "Movies are a collaborative medium, and everyone is second-guessing you. When you do a novel you're on your own. It's a freedom that doesn't exist in any other medium." [4] He was the author of 18 novels which have sold over 300 million copies.

Three years before his death, The Los Angeles Times called Sheldon "Mr. Blockbuster" and "prince of potboilers." [5]

Personal life

Sheldon was first married to Jane Kaufman Harding (1945–1948). Later he wrote "Regretfully, in less than a month, Jane and I realized we had made a mistake. ... We spent the next nine months trying in vain to make the marriage work." [6]

He was married for 30 years to Jorja Curtright, a stage and film actress who later became an interior designer. She appeared in a Season One episode of I Dream of Jeannie. She died of a heart attack in 1985. Their daughter, Mary Sheldon, became a novelist as well. [7]

He married Alexandra Joyce Kostoff, a former child actress [8] [9] in Las Vegas in 1989.[ citation needed ]

He struggled with bipolar disorder for years; he contemplated suicide at 17 (talked out of it by his father, who found him with a bottle of whiskey and several bottles of sleeping pills), as detailed in his autobiography published in 2005, The Other Side of Me .

Death

A resident of Palm Springs, California, [10] Sheldon died on January 30, 2007, of pneumonia at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California 12 days before his 90th birthday. [3] [11] His remains were cremated, the ashes interred in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

North Korea

Despite generally limited access to foreign literature, it has been reported that members of North Korea's small English-speaking elite are familiar with Sheldon's work. [12] [13]

Awards

Sheldon won an Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay (1947) for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer , a Tony Award (1959) for his musical Redhead, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work on I Dream of Jeannie , an NBC sitcom. Sheldon had a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars dedicated to him in 1994. [14]

Bibliography

Series

Midnight

  1. The Other Side of Midnight (1973)
  2. Memories of Midnight (1990)

Ambitious Women

Novels

Autobiography

Broadway plays [15]

London plays

Children's Books

The Adventures of Drippy the Runaway Raindrop

The Chase

The Dictator

Ghost Story"

The Money Tree

Revenge!

The Strangler

The Twelve Commandments

The Adventure of a Quarter''

Sidney Sheldon Books by Tilly Bagshawe


Mistress of the Game (2009). A Sequel to Master of the Game

After the Darkness (2010)

Angel of the Dark (2012)

The Tides of Memory (2013)

Chasing Tomorrow (2014) First sequel to If Tomorrow Comes

Reckless (2015) Second sequel to If Tomorrow Comes

The Silent Widow(2018)

Films as Writer

Television

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References

  1. "Bonhams : Alexandra and Sydney Sheldon's exceptional collection up for auction at Bonhams Los Angeles". bonhams.com.
  2. "Sidney Sheldon: A chat with the best-selling author Sidney Sheldon about his book Tell Me Your Dreams", CNN , July 13, 1999
  3. 1 2 3 "Welcome to SidneySheldon.com: The Official Website of the World's Master Storyteller". hachettebookgroup.com.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Author Sidney Sheldon dies at 89", Associated Press, January 30, 2007. Archive copy.
  5. "Mr. Blockbuster", The Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2004.
  6. Sheldon, Sidney, The Other Side of Me, Warner Vision Books, 2005
  7. Los Angeles Times: "Author Mary Sheldon, daughter of Sidney Sheldon, sells in Beverly Hills" by Neal J. Leitereg March 19, 2016
  8. Alexandra Sheldon herself received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars Frenzel, Gerhard G. (1999). Portrait of the Stars. Palm Springs, CA: Palm Springs Walk of Stars. p. 99. LCCN   98093956. OCLC   41260876.
  9. Sidney Sheldon Archived February 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Johns, Howard (2004). Palm Springs Confidential: Playground of the Stars!. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books. pp. 55, 86. ISBN   9781569802694. LCCN   2004041116. OCLC   54392060. LCC   PN2285 .J56 2004
  11. "Sidney Sheldon, Author of Steamy Novels, Dies at 89", The New York Times, January 31, 2007.
  12. Kim, Suki (2014-10-14). Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elite. Crown. ISBN   9780307720665 . Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  13. Power, John. "Foreign fiction present in North Korea, though restricted". NK News. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  14. Palm Springs Walk of Stars: By Date Dedicated Archived December 8, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  15. Internet Broadway Database (IBDB)