Ben HechtBen Hecht
- April 18
) 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.
Ben Hecht's Academy Award nominations
Ben Hecht's writing filmography