Jay Dratler


Biography of Jay Dratler

Jay Dratler was born in 1911 in New York City. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the late 1920s, he transferred to a college in France where he became fluent in French and German.

Cashing in on his exceptional language skills on his return to the United States, he become a successful screenwriter and novelist. He was considered very influential during the classic era of film noir in the 1940s. His films include Call Northside 777, The Dark Corner, I Aim at the Stars, and Laura. He won an Academy Award for Call Northside 777 and was nominated for his writing on Laura. Dratler died in 1968.

In the mid 1930s, Jay & his wife Binks lived in a Vienna, Austria apartment with Lev Nussimbaum (aka Essad Bey & aka Kurt Said) and his wife Erica. Binks was a painter and Jay wrote novels at the time. Read "The Orientalist" by Tom Reiss for more information.

His son, Jay Dratler, Jr., became a professor of law.

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