Writer-Director Mel Shavelson Passes Away at 90

Shavelson also served as three-time WGA president.

by | August 9, 2007 | Comments


Melville Shavelson,
the prolific writer/director of the 1950s and 1960s and frequent president of the
Writers Guild of America West, died of natural causes on Wednesday at the age of
90 in his Southern California home.

Like Billy Wilder,
Shavelson was
one of the rare directors of the studio system era who personally scripted a majority of his films.  The Academy awarded Shavelson with an Oscar nomination for
scripting 1955’s
The Seven Little
Foys
(a Bob Hope
vehicle), and another in 1958 for writing
Houseboat
(starring
Cary Grant and
Sophia Loren).
Shavelson also directed both movies.  Shavelson’s most famous effort with
contemporary cinemagoers is 1968’s
Yours,
Mine, and Ours
, which was remade in 2005.

He oversaw WGA West as
president on three occasions (1969-71, 1979-1981, 1985-1987), which bestowed him
numerous WGA  awards: the Morgan Cox Award in 1998, the Laurel Award for
screenwriting in 1984, and five WGA Award nominations throughout his five-decade
career. 

"He was part of a vanishing
breed of writers who came up in the pioneer days," said
M*A*S*H

magnate Larry Gelbart.
"There was never an occasion that came up where he didn’t have four or five
pages (of comedy material) prepared. He was always up for anything — any
assignment, anything to do with the guild. He was not so much a ‘can-do’ guy as
a ‘can-and-did’ guy."

Shavelson was also known for
his minor spats with actors he directed.  He recounted in an essay that
Kirk Douglas, who
starred in 1966’s
Cast a Giant
Shadow
, wrote a memo to Shavelson that read: "Mel, I think it was a good
picture. It could have been better if I had paid more attention to you."

And Lucille Ball
whom Shavelson directed in Yours, Mine, and Ours, about two parents
raising 18 children — inquired how he liked directing her.  His reply: "Lucy,
this is the first time I ever made a film with 19 children."

In recent years, Shavelson
turned to cinematic philanthropy, establishing a film scholarship at his alma
mater of Cornel University, and contributing funds to the Shavelson-Webb Writers
Guild Foundation Library.  On his 90th birthday, April 1, Shavelson
published his autobiography, How to Succeed in Hollywood Without Really
Trying, P.S. — You Can’t!
  He wrote five other books in his lifetime, two
fiction and three nonfiction.

Shavelson is survived by his
wife, son, daughter, and three grandchildren.

Source:

Variety
,

AP

Tag Cloud

Infographic Thanksgiving Lionsgate Sony Pictures AMC Crackle TLC NYCC sequel TCA 2017 cars Musicals screenings spanish language TCM The Witch Video Games Amazon screen actors guild comics Holidays Tumblr OneApp MSNBC TIFF halloween 2015 CBS All Access TV Awards Mystery IFC breaking bad book TNT versus rotten movies we love YouTube Red Heroines Red Carpet Discovery Channel boxoffice Trailer christmas movies thriller television The CW LGBT FXX docudrama CNN transformers revenge cops psychological thriller cartoon Apple TV Plus Disney streaming service kids talk show zero dark thirty war Action children's TV diversity crime drama police drama comiccon anthology RT History Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt spain Classic Film festivals Ovation sitcom spinoff jamie lee curtis batman Quiz TBS elevated horror free movies Captain marvel Showtime richard e. Grant USA First Reviews blockbuster PBS spy thriller GLAAD Schedule unscripted Logo Extras Horror mutant DC Universe Shondaland spider-man adventure politics Holiday disaster nature Comedy Central WarnerMedia Rocketman Drama BBC Walt Disney Pictures canceled TV shows doctor who First Look Mudbound werewolf 20th Century Fox award winner Disney TCA Winter 2020 Kids & Family Anna Paquin space BBC America Character Guide DC Comics Winners Turner Marvel Studios MCU Spike cancelled TV shows YouTube Premium Trophy Talk Esquire Disney Plus Music Masterpiece Mary Poppins Returns The Arrangement Trivia TV renewals Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Tomatazos USA Network Hallmark Christmas movies Mary poppins Set visit Best and Worst Marvel Television Comics on TV Spectrum Originals Super Bowl Western joker Nominations travel Pixar dramedy Musical Warner Bros. YA natural history Netflix political drama Emmys Elton John animated based on movie dragons crossover Comedy Starz 45 miniseries Oscars supernatural Polls and Games blaxploitation Marathons stand-up comedy APB true crime GIFs facebook Lifetime DC streaming service cancelled television Mary Tyler Moore Chernobyl Shudder Universal Calendar dc cancelled adaptation Film NBC serial killer Film Festival biography Cartoon Network Tarantino TruTV Martial Arts game of thrones CBS Hallmark ITV Biopics Sci-Fi Cosplay streaming Crunchyroll Acorn TV Opinion Summer Reality WGN reboot Winter TV ghosts A24 Election Year in Review ABC latino romance Pop video 2018 Disney Channel Paramount Network FX Grammys E3 crime thriller The Walking Dead foreign Amazon Prime directors slashers Emmy Nominations Mindy Kaling National Geographic Paramount DGA period drama Star Wars romantic comedy E! discovery Ghostbusters YouTube teaser Fantasy singing competition 24 frames series Avengers Marvel Apple Food Network documentary mockumentary Bravo SDCC SundanceTV Countdown Disney+ Disney Plus RT21 binge MTV Baby Yoda anime Brie Larson strong female leads vampires theme song Britbox cinemax 21st Century Fox President Pet Sematary Comic Book cults Syfy aliens History Interview Binge Guide canceled justice league American Society of Cinematographers LGBTQ 2019 Adult Swim Nat Geo Box Office SXSW New York Comic Con Sneak Peek TV Land Photos Fall TV A&E VH1 Country Star Trek game show 007 Fox News San Diego Comic-Con CMT Spring TV science fiction 71st Emmy Awards VICE Writers Guild of America HBO Max Sundance TV ESPN Reality Competition DirecTV CW Seed Columbia Pictures composers casting Ellie Kemper Freeform Tubi Creative Arts Emmys Women's History Month Premiere Dates Sundance Now south america Song of Ice and Fire FOX Pirates BET PaleyFest OWN witnail harry potter Animation Academy Awards 2016 dceu Rocky zombie technology Sundance The Purge GoT Arrowverse Rock movies Dark Horse Comics cats Black Mirror robots quibi Watching Series Valentine's Day psycho Cannes renewed TV shows El Rey Epix Superheroes Apple TV+ TCA what to watch Turner Classic Movies green book indie zombies cancelled TV series Amazon Prime Video Endgame golden globes independent 2020 sports tv talk ratings Peacock toy story historical drama HBO Netflix Christmas movies comic medical drama sag awards Rom-Com 2017 Awards Tour social media Certified Fresh X-Men Vudu Stephen King finale Family hispanic crime Lucasfilm Christmas IFC Films Television Academy Hulu Superheroe Teen cooking hist Nickelodeon See It Skip It name the review Lifetime Christmas movies Podcast ABC Family Toys Pride Month