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Subject: Daniel Taradash, Screenwriter

Los Angeles
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Date Posted: March 02, 2003 10:15:44 EDT

Daniel Taradash, who won a screenwriting Oscar for "From Here to Eternity," died on Saturday. He was 90.

Mr. Taradash attended Harvard University and received a law degree in 1936 from Harvard Law School. Though he passed the New York State bar, he never practiced law, deciding instead to become a writer.

He collaborated on the screenplay for "Golden Boy," released in 1939, and afterward began splitting his time between New York and Hollywood to work on plays and screenplays. Drafted into the Army in May 1941, he served in the Signal Corps, where he worked on numerous training films for the troops and motivational films for workers on the home front.

Mr. Taradash wrote several screenplays before convincing the head of Columbia Studios, Harry Cohn, in 1952 that he was the writer to bring James Jones's best seller "From Here to Eternity" to the screen.

Mr. Taradash's screenplay is widely regarded as one of the greatest adaptations of that period, and the film, directed by Fred Zinneman, was critically acclaimed. It was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won eight, including Oscars for best screenplay and best picture.

Mr. Taradash continued to write screenplay adaptations and in 1956 directed "Storm Center," starring Bette Davis as a librarian fired for refusing to remove a book about Communism from the library.

He was devoted to civil liberties and had friends who were blacklisted as Hollywood writers in the McCarthy era, said his daughter, Jan.

He was an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, serving as a vice president from 1968 to 1970 before being elected to a three-year term as president in June 1970. He also served on the academy's board of governors from 1990 to 1993.

Mr. Taradash is survived by his wife of 58 years, Madeleine; two daughters, Jan, of Berkeley, and Meg, of Los Angeles; a son, Bill, of New York; and two grandchildren.

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