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Sy Bartlett (July 10, 1900 – May 29, 1978) was an American author and screenwriter/producer of Hollywood films. Born Sacha Baraniev in Ukraine, he immigrated to the United States at the age of four and adopted the name Sidney Bartlett. Bartlett died in Hollywood on May 29, 1978, aged 77, from cancer. Sy Bartlett was born on July 10, 1900 in the Black Sea seaport of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine. His parents immigrated to the United States in 1904, settling in Chicago. Bartlett attended Northwestern University and was trained at the Medill School of Journalism.
He worked as a newspaper reporter before moving to Hollywood to become a screenwriter. His first credited work was for RKO Studios in 1933 and he wrote 28 screenplays from 1933 to 1969. In the 1950s he became interested in producing films, and with film star Gregory Peck founded Melville Productions in 1956.
Bartlett enjoyed being a Hollywood socialite in the 1930s and was well known for the Sunday barbecues he frequently hosted. He was sometimes connected by tabloids to scandals on occasion, and married three times, each time to Hollywood actresses – Alice White, Ellen Drew, and Patricia Owens. Of Jewish descent, Bartlett was understandably strongly anti-Nazi, once striking an employee of the German consulate in the face during a nightclub argument.
Following World War II, Bartlett returned to Hollywood and joined 20th Century Fox as a writer. In 1946, he began a collaboration with Beirne Lay which resulted in the 1948 publication of the novel Twelve O'Clock High (Harper & Brothers), and in December 1949, the release of the film based on the same story (work on production began a year before publication).