Why do the good ones always have to go. The talented screenwriter Budd Schulberg has passed away. According to Variety, he was best known for his work on the acclaimed Elia Kazan film, On the Waterfront. Schulberg died yesterday at his Long Island home at the age of 95, and has left behind a true Hollywood legacy.
Schulberg’s entertainment career started at the ripe old age of 17, when he became a publicist for Paramount Studios. Two years later he made the jump to full time writer, which became his profession from that point on. He attributed some unaccredited dialogue in the 1937 version of A Star is Born, but was fully endorsed for his work on Little Orphan Annie the next year. He went on to pen a book in 1941 entitled What Makes Sammy Run, which satirized Hollywood executives. He later worked with Elia Kazan on his Oscar winning feature On the Waterfront, during a scary time in this country. This was the error of “naming names” for people who supported the Communist party. We all know how that ended.
Throughout his tumultuous career he’s racked up several awards, and fans due to his variety of work. Schulberg is survived by his wife Betsy and five children. I remember seeing an interview with him a couple of years ago for a Marlon Brando documentary for Turner Classic Movies. He had a lot to say about old Hollywood and his days in the studio system. He was entertaining, but honest which is a hard thing to balance. They definitely don’t make them like that anymore.
What was your favorite Budd Schulberg film? Were you a fan of his work?