March 28, 1914
New York City, New York, United States
September 3, 2000
Pacific Palisades, California, United States
Screenwriter, Producer, Actor, Camera operator, Director, Editor
After working as a journalist and documentary filmmaker for Pathe and CBS-TV, Edward Anhalt teamed with his wife Edna (nee Richards) during World War II to write pulp fiction. After the war, they graduated to writing screenplays for thrillers, initially using the joint pseudonym Andrew Holt. Put under contract by Columbia, the Anhalts scripted "Bulldog Drummond Strikes Back" (1947). After a stint at Twentieth Century Fox during which they earned an Oscar for the screen story to the urban thriller "Panic in the Streets" (1950), the husband and wife team returned to Columbia as writer-producers. Perhaps their most notable effort was the 1952 screen version of Carson McCullers' "The Member of the Wedding" which preserved the stage performances of Julie Harris, Brandon De Wilde and Ethel Waters. After the couple divorced, Anhalt proved a versatile, consistently effective (and reputedly speedy) scenarist. He penned the superb adaptation of Irwin Shaw's WWII novel "The Young Lions" (1958) and the slick "Wives and Lovers" (1963). The screenwriter earned a second Academy Award for his excellent adaptation of Jean Anouilh's play "Becket" (1964), Subsequent solo outings included "The Boston Strangler" (1968), "The Madwoman of Chaillot" (1969) and two for Ely A. Landau's American Film Theatre, "Luther" (1974) and "The Man in the Glass Booth" (1975).In the early 1970s, Anhalt returned to the small screen, earning a well-deserved Emmy nomination for the acclaimed ABC miniseries "QB VII" (1974). Three years later, he scripted the Frank Sinatra vehicle "Contract on Cherry Street" (NBC) and contributed to the small screen remake of "Madame X" (NBC, 1981) and the biblically inspired "The Day Christ Died" (CBS, 1982). Anhalt was also the guiding force behind the lavish 1985 NBC miniseries "Peter the Great."