Abby Mann

Abby Mann (December 1, 1927 March 25, 2008) was an American film writer and producer.[1]

Abby Mann
Abraham Goodman

December 1, 1927
DiedMarch 25, 2008(2008-03-25) (aged 80)
NationalityUnited States
OccupationScreenwriter and film producer
Spouse(s)Myra Maislin
ChildrenAbigail Mann
Adrienne Cohen Isom (stepdaughter)
Aaron Cohen (stepson)

Life and career

Born to a Jewish family[2][3] as Abraham Goodman in Philadelphia, he grew up in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. He was best known for his work on controversial subjects and social drama. His best known work is the screenplay for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), which was initially a television drama that aired in 1959. Stanley Kramer directed the film adaptation, for which Mann received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In his acceptance speech, he said:

"A writer worth his salt at all has an obligation not only to entertain but to comment on the world in which he lives."[4]

Mann later adapted the play for a 2001 production on Broadway, which featured Maximilian Schell from the 1961 film in a different role.[5] In the introduction to the printed script, Mann credited a conversation with Abraham Pomerantz, U.S. Chief Deputy Counsel, for giving him the initial interest in Nuremberg.[6] Mann and Kramer also collaborated on the film A Child Is Waiting (1963).

While working for television, he created the series Kojak, starring Telly Savalas. Mann was executive producer, but was also credited as a writer on many episodes.[7] His other writing credits include the screenplays for the television films The Marcus-Nelson Murders, The Atlanta Child Murders,[8] Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story,[9] and Indictment: The McMartin Trial,[10] as well as the film War and Love.[11] He also directed the 1978 NBC TV miniseries King.

Personal life

Mann was married to Myra Maislin. His wife had two children from a previous marriage, Adrienne Cohen Isom and Aaron Cohen,[3] a former Israeli Special Forces operative.[12]

Mann died of heart failure in Beverly Hills, California on March 25, 2008, aged 80.[13][14] He died one day after Richard Widmark, one of the stars of Judgment at Nuremberg. Mann is interred in Culver City's Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.

Selected filmography


  1. "The Sleeping Car Porter Who Won the Last Round". New York Times. 2002-02-23. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  2. Erens, Patricia (1998). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. p. 392. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.
  3. Douglas Martin, "Abby Mann, 'Nuremberg' Screenwriter, Dies at 83",, March 28, 2008.
  4. "Ron Weiskind and Barbara Vancheri, "Pittsburgh goes to the Oscars". ''Pittsburgh Post-Gazette'', March 9, 2003". 2003-03-09. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  5. Bruce Weber, "On Evil and the Citizen, No Answers Are Easy". The New York Times, March 27, 2001.
  6. Mann, Abby. Judgment at Nuremberg - A play. New Directions. pp. ix.
  7. "'Kojak' (1973)",; accessed December 31, 2017.
  8. Bedell, Sally (1985-02-09). "CBS Turning Cameras on its Decision-Makers". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  9. "Corruption, Love and Murder, All From Real Life". New York Times. September 11, 1992. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  10. "The Horrors Behind The McMartin Trial". New York Times. May 19, 1995. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  11. Vincent Canby, "Screen: War and Love". The New York Times, September 13, 1985.
  12. Aaron Cohen and Douglas Century, Brotherhood of Warriors,; accessed December 31, 2017.
  13. Saperstein, Pat (2008-03-26). "Obituary". Variety. Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  14. Obituary - Los Angeles Times Archived May 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
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