Arthur Sheekman

Biography of Arthur Sheekman

Arthur Sheekman (February 5, 1901 - January 12, 1978), a graduate from the University of Minnesota, started his career as columnist and drama critic during the 1920s and the early 1930s for the Manhattan Newspaper. He then entered the film industry in 1931 when he became a scenarist for the Marx Brothers' movie Monkey Business where he befriended Groucho Marx. Groucho first found out about Arthur Sheekman while reading Sheekman's show business column on the Chicago Sunday Times and wrote a guest column replying to Sheekman saying that he liked his style and wanted him to help work on his productions in Hollywood. From then on it was known throughout the film production business during that time that Groucho detested the other writers and favored Sheekman over them. This was seen in the movie Monkey Business where Groucho rejected S. J. Perelman's script which he complained was too literary (Perelman said that Groucho's sole response to his script was, "It stinks!"). Groucho also rejected Ned Tennant's script and instead chose to use Sheekman's script in the end (even though ironically much of Sheekman's script was based upon Perelman's original ideas).

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