Daniel Taradash

Daniel Taradash (January 29, 1913 – February 22, 2003) was an American screenwriter.

Daniel Taradash
Born(1913-01-29)January 29, 1913
DiedFebruary 22, 2003(2003-02-22) (aged 90)
Spouse(s)Madeleine Forbes (1945–2003)
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay
1953 From Here to Eternity

Taradash's credits include Golden Boy (1939), From Here to Eternity (1952), Rancho Notorious (1952), Don't Bother to Knock (1952), Désirée (1954), Picnic (1955), Storm Center (1956), which he also directed, Bell, Book and Candle (1958), Morituri (1965), Hawaii (1966), Castle Keep (1969), Doctors' Wives (1971), and Bogie (1980), a film biography of Humphrey Bogart.

Early years

Daniel Taradash was born to a Jewish family[1] in Kentucky and raised in Chicago and Miami Beach. He attended Harvard University, where he met his future producing partner Jules Blaustein. He graduated with a law degree and passed the New York State bar. But when his play The Mercy won the 1938 Bureau of New Plays contest (the two previous winners were Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams), a career in theater was launched. He moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a scripter. His first assignment was as one of four credited writers on the screen version of Clifford Odets' Golden Boy (1939).

His theater career was interrupted when, during World War II, Taradash served in the US Army and eventually underwent training in the Signal Corps Officer Candidate program. He was assigned to the Signal Corps Photo Center and worked as a writer and producer of training films.

Post World War II career

After the war, Taradash attempted to find success on Broadway with an American version of Jean-Paul Sartre's Red Gloves, but the show folded quickly and he returned to Hollywood. He had more success as the co-writer (with John Monks Jr) of the Humphrey Bogart vehicle Knock on Any Door (1949). The Fritz Lang Western Rancho Notorious and the psychodrama Don't Bother to Knock (both 1952). Performers included Marlene Dietrich and Arthur Kennedy in the former, Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe in the latter. Taradash's adaptation of James Jones' massive novel From Here to Eternity (1953), was a big success and earned him an Oscar. It was directed by Fred Zinnemann. His subsequent film work was generally in adaptations, including Desiree (1954), about Napoleon and Joséphine, Picnic (1955), from the William Inge play, and Bell, Book and Candle (1958), from John Van Druten's stage comedy.

In the mid-1950s, Taradash and Jules Blaustein formed Phoenix Corporation. He also tried his hand at directing with Storm Center (1956), about a librarian fighting censorship. Taradash and Zinnemann had planned to make two films from James Michener's massive novel Hawaii but were unable to raise the financing. (When George Roy Hill did make the film in 1965, he utilized Taradash's script with emendations by Dalton Trumbo.) By the 1970s, Taradash's efforts produced his final two scripts for the soap operas Doctors' Wives (1971) and The Other Side of Midnight (1977).

Taradash won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Drama for From Here to Eternity, and received a WGA nomination for Picnic.

Taradash served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1970 to 1973. He was AMPAS's 20th president. In 1972 he introduced Charlie Chaplin at Chaplin's legendary appearance at the 44th Academy Awards and presented him with an honorary award.

Taradash died of pancreatic cancer in Los Angeles.


  • 1938 - Passed New York bar exam
  • 1938 - Won the Bureau of New Plays nationwide playwrighting contest previously won by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams
  • 1939 - First feature credit as one of four credited screenwriters on the film adaptation of Golden Boy
  • 1941 - Served in the US Army
  • 1948 - Debut as a Broadway playwright, Red Gloves, adapted from the work by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • 1949 - Breakthrough screen credit as co-writer of Knock on Any Door
  • 1953 - Earned Academy Award for his screenplay for From Here to Eternity, adapted from the James Jones novel
  • 1956 - Adapted William Inge's Picnic
  • 1956 - Directorial debut, Storm Center (also wrote)
  • 1958 - Wrote the screenplay adaptation of Bell, Book and Candle
  • 1959 - Made one-shot return to Broadway as playwright of There Was a Little Girl, starring Jane Fonda
  • 1966 - Received co-writer credit on Hawaii; originally he and director Fred Zinnemann had hoped to make two films based on the James Michener novel but financing could not be raised
  • 1971 - Scripted Doctors Wives
  • 1977 - Final screenplay credit, The Other Side of Midnight[2]
  • 1996 - Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement


  1. Erens, Patricia (August 1988). The Jew in American Cinema. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-20493-6.
  2. Yahoo Movies Daniel Taradash biography https://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d-hc&id-1800034078&cf-biog&intl-us
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Gregory Peck
President of Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences
Succeeded by
Walter Mirisch
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