Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Melville Shavelson (April 1, 1917 – August 8, 2007) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author. He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) from 1969 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and 1985 to 1987. He came to Hollywood in 1938 as one of comedian Bob Hope's joke writers, a job he held for the next five years. He is responsible for the screenplays of such Hope films as The Princess and the Pirate (1944), Where There's Life (1947), The Great Lover (1949), and Sorrowful Jones (1949), which also starred Lucille Ball.

Shavelson was nominated twice for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay -- first for 1955's The Seven Little Foys, starring Hope in a rare dramatic role, and then for 1958's Houseboat. He shared both nominations with Jack Rose. He also directed both films.

Other films he wrote and directed include Beau James (1957), The Five Pennies (1959) for which he won a Screen Writers Guild Award, It Started in Naples (1960), On the Double (1961), The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962), A New Kind of Love (1963), Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), and Yours, Mine and Ours (1968), which starred Henry Fonda and again with Lucille Ball. The film, a comedy about a widow (Lucille Ball) and a widower (Henry Fonda) raising 18 children together. When Ms. Ball later asked Mr. Shavelson how he enjoyed directing her, The Associated Press reported, he replied, “Lucy, this is the first time I ever made a film with 19 children.” Ms. Ball was not amused. In addition to his film work, Shavelson created two Emmy award-winning television series and wrote for a dozen Academy Award shows.

He also wrote,produced and co-directed the six-hour ABC screenplay to the 1979 television miniseries Ike about Dwight D. Eisenhower, based on the World War II exploits of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. He also wrote, miniseries Ike, The War Years.

Shavelson's autobiography, published by BearManor Media in April 2007, is entitled How to Succeed in Hollywood Without Really Trying, P.S. - You Can't! Shavelson wrote several other books, including, with Mr. Hope, “Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me: Bob Hope’s Comedy History of the United States” (Putnam, 1990), and How to Make a Jewish Movie (1971), a memoir of his experiences while producing and directing Cast a Giant Shadow, and the Hollywood-themed novel Lualda (1973).

Shavelson was a noted instructor at USC's Master of Professional Writing Program from 1998-2006. He taught screenwriting, who often cracked to his students, "I'm a writer by choice, a producer by necessity and a director in self-defense."

Shavelson's first wife, Lucille, died in 2000. He was married to his second wife, Ruth Florea, from 2001 until his death in 2007. He had two children, Lynne Joiner and Richard Shavelson.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Melville Shavelson, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Melville Shavelson (April 1, 1917 – August 8, 2007) was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author. He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) from 1969 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and 1985 to 1987. He came to Hollywood in 1938 as one of comedian Bob Hope's joke writers, a job he held for the next five years. He is responsible for the screenplays of such Hope films as The Princess and the Pirate (1944), Where There's Life (1947), The Great Lover (1949), and Sorrowful Jones (1949), which also starred Lucille Ball.

Shavelson was nominated twice for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay -- first for 1955's The Seven Little Foys, starring Hope in a rare dramatic role, and then for 1958's Houseboat. He shared both nominations with Jack Rose. He also directed both films.

Other films he wrote and directed include Beau James (1957), The Five Pennies (1959) for which he won a Screen Writers Guild Award, It Started in Naples (1960), On the Double (1961), The Pigeon That Took Rome (1962), A New Kind of Love (1963), Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), and Yours, Mine and Ours (1968), which starred Henry Fonda and again with Lucille Ball. The film, a comedy about a widow (Lucille Ball) and a widower (Henry Fonda) raising 18 children together. When Ms. Ball later asked Mr. Shavelson how he enjoyed directing her, The Associated Press reported, he replied, “Lucy, this is the first time I ever made a film with 19 children.” Ms. Ball was not amused. In addition to his film work, Shavelson created two Emmy award-winning television series and wrote for a dozen Academy Award shows.

He also wrote,produced and co-directed the six-hour ABC screenplay to the 1979 television miniseries Ike about Dwight D. Eisenhower, based on the World War II exploits of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. He also wrote, miniseries Ike, The War Years.

Shavelson's autobiography, published by BearManor Media in April 2007, is entitled How to Succeed in Hollywood Without Really Trying, P.S. - You Can't! Shavelson wrote several other books, including, with Mr. Hope, “Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me: Bob Hope’s Comedy History of the United States” (Putnam, 1990), and How to Make a Jewish Movie (1971), a memoir of his experiences while producing and directing Cast a Giant Shadow, and the Hollywood-themed novel Lualda (1973).

Shavelson was a noted instructor at USC's Master of Professional Writing Program from 1998-2006. He taught screenwriting, who often cracked to his students, "I'm a writer by choice, a producer by necessity and a director in self-defense."

Shavelson's first wife, Lucille, died in 2000. He was married to his second wife, Ruth Florea, from 2001 until his death in 2007. He had two children, Lynne Joiner and Richard Shavelson.

Description above from the Wikipedia article Melville Shavelson, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Personal Info

Known For Writing

Gender Male

Known Credits 39

Birthday 1917-04-01

Day of Death 2007-08-08

Place of Birth New York City, New York, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Mel Shavelson

Writing TV ShowsMovies

1980 Ike: The War Years Writer
1978 Rainbow Writer
1976 The Great Houdinis Writer
1975 The Legend of Valentino Writer
1974 Mixed Company Screenplay
1972 The War Between Men and Women Writer
1963 A New Kind of Love Writer
1962 The Pigeon That Took Rome Writer
1961 On the Double Writer
1960 It Started in Naples Screenplay
1958 Houseboat Writer
1957 Beau James Writer
1955 The Seven Little Foys Writer
1953 Trouble Along the Way Screenplay
1953 The Academy Awards (1 episode)Writer
1952 April in Paris Writer
1952 Room for One More Screenplay
1951 Double Dynamite Screenplay
1951 I'll See You in My Dreams Writer
1951 On Moonlight Bay Screenplay
1950 The Daughter of Rosie O'Grady Screenplay Story
1949 Always Leave Them Laughing Screenplay
1949 The Great Lover Writer
1949 It's a Great Feeling Writer
1947 Where There's Life Screenplay Story
1946 The Kid from Brooklyn Adaptation
1945 Hollywood Victory Caravan Writer
1945 Wonder Man Screenplay
1944 The Princess and the Pirate Screenplay

Directing

1985 Deceptions (1 episode)Director
1978 Rainbow Director
1976 The Great Houdinis Director
1975 The Legend of Valentino Director
1974 Mixed Company Director
1972 The War Between Men and Women Director
1969 My World and Welcome to It (2 episodes)Director
1968 Yours, Mine and Ours Director
1966 Cast a Giant Shadow Director
1963 A New Kind of Love Director
1962 The Pigeon That Took Rome Director
1961 On the Double Director
1960 It Started in Naples Director
1959 The Five Pennies Director
1958 Houseboat Director
1957 Beau James Director
1955 The Seven Little Foys Director

Creator

1972 Shirley's World Creator
1969 My World and Welcome to It Creator
1967 Accidental Family Creator
1953 The Danny Thomas Show Creator

Production

1963 A New Kind of Love Producer
1962 The Pigeon That Took Rome Producer
1953 Trouble Along the Way Producer

Acting

2009 Tales from the Script as Himself
2003 Bob Hope: The Road to Laughter as Himself

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