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Subject: Screenwriter David Wolf

Dies at 76
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Date Posted: Sunday, April 07, 09:18:59am

DAVID WOLF (1943 - 2019)

WOLF--David, a writer of screenplays, television scripts, and short stories, whose ability as an editor helped improve the work of many of his writer friends, died peacefully from complications related to Alzheimer's disease on March 28 at his home in Beverly Hills, California, surrounded by his family. He was 76. David Martin Wolf was born in 1943 in Chicago to William Wolf, who had a long career in the food and restaurant business, and the former Bertha Rabinowitz. When he was two, the family moved to Los Angeles, first settling in the West Adams neighborhood and later in the San Fernando Valley. David was graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BA in History in 1964 and continued his studies in Government, as the department was called there, as a Harvard Fellow. It was in Cambridge that he met Jamie Rosenthal, a vivacious Radcliffe student, in 1965. They were immediately mutually-smitten, in part because each had an encyclopedic knowledge of the lyrics--introductions as well as verses--of The Great American Songbook, particularly those of songs by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. (Not exactly a widely-shared interest at the time). They married in 1971; their daughter Kate was born in 1981. Of differing yet intermeshing personalities, the pair reconciled frivolity and extravagance (Jamie) with intense frugality (David), although he was also extraordinarily generous. David's startlingly blue eyes and easy manner of balancing humility with opinion made him immediately attractive and accessible. He had a wide knowledge of history, politics, sports, and the arts, and his wit and open smile were captivating. David's career as a screenwriter began in a collaboration with Alan Trustman whose credits included The Thomas Crown Affair and Bullitt, on the Sidney J. Furie film Hit, starring Billy Dee Williams and Richard Pryor. Other pictures written by the team included The Next Man, starring Sean Connery, and Crime and Passion, featuring Omar Sharif and Karen Black. David was subsequently a staff writer and consultant for the TV series Men and Life Goes On. He also wrote episodes for, among others, The Wonder Years, and Man of the People. When his work in Hollywood eventually subsided, leaving him with a drawer full of unproduced scripts, David abstained from bitterness. He continued to write, and to read voraciously. He found deep pleasure in his beloved basketball team, The UCLA Bruins, as well as in exploring the city of Los Angeles by foot, observing the everyday with a mixture of awe and curiosity, which remained with him even in his illness. He is survived by his wife Jamie Rosenthal Wolf, a journalist, editor, and producer of documentaries; his daughter Kate, a writer; his son-in-law, the artist Zach Harris, and his grandson Vincent; a younger brother, Erwin; and four nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at 2:00pm, April 7 at Hillside Memorial Park in Los Angeles. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Alzheimer's Association.

Published in The New York Times on Apr. 7, 2019.


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