Daniel Taradash


Biography of Daniel Taradash

Daniel Taradash (January 29, 1913 – February 22, 2003) was an American screenwriter.

Daniel Taradash was born in Kentucky and raised in Chicago and Miami Beach. He attended Harvard University, where he met his future producing partner Jules Blaustein. He graduated with a law degree and passed the New York State bar. But when his play The Mercy won the 1938 Bureau of New Plays contest (the two previous winners were Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams), a career in theater was launched. He moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a scripter. His first assignment was as one of four credited writers on the screen version of Clifford Odets' Golden Boy (1939).

His theater career was interrupted when, during World War II, Taradash served in the US Army and eventually underwent training in the Signal Corps Officer Candidate program. He was assigned to the Signal Corps Photo Center and worked as a writer and producer of training films.

After the war, Taradash attempted to find success on Broadway with an American version of Jean-Paul Sartre's Red Gloves, but the show folded quickly and he returned to Hollywood. He had more success as the co-writer (with John Monks Jr) of the Humphrey Bogart vehicle Knock on Any Door (1949). The Fritz Lang Western Rancho Notorious and the psychodrama Don't Bother to Knock (both 1952). Performers included Marlene Dietrich and Arthur Kennedy in the former, Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe in the latter. Taradash's adaptation of James Jones' massive novel From Here to Eternity (1953), was a big success and earned him an Oscar. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann. His subsequent film work was generally in adaptations, including Desiree (1954), about Napoleon and Josephine, Picnic (1955), from the William Inge play, and Bell, Book and Candle (1958), from John Van Druten's stage comedy.

In the mid-1950s, Taradash and Jules Blaustein formed Phoenix Corporation. He also tried his hand at directing with Storm Center (1956), about a librarian fighting censorship. Taradash and Zinnemann had planned to make two films from James Michener's massive novel Hawaii but were unable to raise the financing. (When George Roy Hill did make the film in 1965, he utilized Taradash's script with emendations by Dalton Trumbo.) By the 1970s, Taradash's efforts produced his final two scripts for the soap operas Doctors' Wives (1971) and The Other Side of Midnight (1977).

Taradash won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Drama for From Here to Eternity, and received a WGA nomination for Picnic.

Taradash died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles.

[Report Error]