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Subject: Director, producer Melville Shavelson was born 100 years ago today died 2007)

Worked often with Bob Hope
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Date Posted: Saturday, April 01, 11:42:17am
In reply to: Other birthdays, Apr.1- 's message, "Actor Don Hastings is 83 today" on Saturday, April 01, 11:33:26am

Melville Shavelson (April 1, 1917 – August 8, 2007) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author. He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) from 1969 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and 1985 to 1987. He came to Hollywood in 1938 as one of comedian Bob Hope's joke writers, a job he held for the next five years. He is responsible for the screenplays of such Hope films as The Princess and the Pirate (1944), Where There's Life (1947), The Great Lover (1949), and Sorrowful Jones (1949), which also starred Lucille Ball. Shavelson also worked as a writer on Hope's radio show, The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.

Shavelson was nominated twice for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay—first for 1955's The Seven Little Foys, starring Hope in a rare dramatic role, and then for 1958's Houseboat. He shared both nominations with Jack Rose. He also directed both films.

Other films he wrote and directed include Beau James (1957), The Five Pennies (1959) for which he won a Screen Writers Guild Award, It Started in Naples (1960), On the Double (1961), The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962), A New Kind of Love (1963), Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), and Yours, Mine and Ours (1968), which starred Henry Fonda and again with Lucille Ball. Shavelson created two Emmy award-winning television series and wrote for a dozen Academy Award shows.

He also wrote,produced and co-directed the six-hour ABC screenplay to the 1979 television miniseries Ike, based on the World War II exploits of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. It featured an all star cast including Robert Duvall and Lee Remick.

Shavelson's autobiography, published by BearManor Media in April 2007, is entitled How to Succeed in Hollywood Without Really Trying, P.S. - You Can't! Shavelson wrote several other books, including, with Mr. Hope, “Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me: Bob Hope’s Comedy History of the United States” (Putnam, 1990), and How to Make a Jewish Movie (1971), a memoir of his experiences while producing and directing Cast a Giant Shadow, and the Hollywood-themed novel Lualda (1973).
Shavelson was a noted instructor at USC's Master of Professional Writing Program from 1998-2006. He taught screenwriting, who often cracked to his students, "I'm a writer by choice, a producer by necessity and a director in self-defense."

He was an amateur radio operator and held the callsign W6VLH.

Shavelson's first wife, Lucille, died in 2000. He was married to his second wife, Ruth Florea, from 2001 until his death in 2007. He had two children, Lynne Joiner and Richard Shavelson.

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Subject Author Date
Judge Gérard La Forest is 91, athlete Walter Bahr is 90, actress Barbara Bryne is 88, actor Jonathan Haze is 88, writer Milan Kundera is 88, writer Rolf Hochhuth is 86 (NT)Nobel awarded physicist Claude Cohen-Tannoudji is 84, journalist Vladimir Posner is 83Saturday, April 01, 11:47:10am
  • "Shout" -- The Isley Brothers, Saturday, April 01, 02:25:41pm
    • "Shannon" -- Henry Gross (66 today), Saturday, April 01, 02:28:53pm

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