Budd Schulberg, who wrote the screenplay for On the Waterfront, died yesterday at age 95. Schulberg grew up a Hollywood prince, surrounded by movie stars and wannabes who sought favors from his studio-executive father. In 1941, he worked a wartime stint screening footage taken by the Nazis for evidence to be presented at the Nuremberg Trials. The same year, he wrote the novel What Makes Sammy Run, a searing tale of Hollywood greed, which, according to the Hollywood Reporter, infuriated people from John Wayne, who got into a fistfight with Schulberg, to Samuel Goldwyn, who saw Schulberg’s depiction of Sammy Glick, an opportunistic movie-business climber, as “doublecrossing the Jews.” Schulberg later wrote that “both Sammy and many of his victims were Jewish, ‘suggesting the wide range of personalities under the one ethnic umbrella.’” A decade later, Schulberg, a onetime Communist Party member, alienated many of his colleagues again by testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee. At higher points in his career, he wrote several other successful novels and collaborated with greats including F. Scott Fitzgerald and Elia Kazan.
Writer Budd Schulberg Dies at 95 [Hollywood Reporter]
Budd Schulberg Dies at 95; Author of ‘What Makes Sammy Run?’ [L.A. Times]
Budd Schulberg, Screenwriter, Dies at 95 [NYT]
Ari M. Brostoff is Culture Editor at Jewish Currents.