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Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht was one of the most prolific of all Hollywood screenwriters, even though he professed hatred and disdain for the motion picture industry. Hecht was raised in Racine, Wisconsin, and as a young man moved to Chicago, where he became a reporter and, eventually, a short-story writer and novelist. He eventually landed in New York, where he met movie mogul David O. Selznick. The two were to be lifelong friends and frequent collaborators.

Hecht eventually moved to Hollywood, where he scripted Josef von Sternberg's gangster story Underworld in 1927, and won an Oscar for his work at the first Academy Awards presentation. His most famous work was the stage comedy The Front Page, which he wrote with frequent collaborator Charles MacArthur. It was first translated to film in 1931 and three more times, most notably as Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday in 1940. Much of Hecht's later work was uncredited, as he worked as a script doctor.

Hecht had an early talk show that was shown on television in the New York metropolitan area in the 1950s and 1960s.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2004.

Ben Hecht Facts

BirthdayFebruary 28, 1894
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Date of deathApril 18, 1964 (age 70)

Selected Filmography

Monsters, Most Familiar
Savage Bees
North To Alaska
The Way West
Let Freedom Ring
Thomas & Friends Spills & Thrills
It's a Wonderful World
Twentieth Century
Actors And Sin: Actor's Blood, Woman of Sin
Best Picture Collection
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