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Hal Kanter

Hal Kanter

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Also Known As: Died: November 6, 2011
Born: December 18, 1918 Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Birth Place: Savannah, Georgia, USA Profession: screenwriter, TV producer, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

While not as well-known as his younger brother Garson, Michael Kanin was an Oscar-winning screenwriter who collaborated on two romantic comedy classics, 1942's "Woman of the Year," which teamed Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn for the first time, and the 1958 Clark Gable-Doris Day vehicle "Teacher's Pet."Born and raised in the state of New York, Kanin began as a commercial and scenic artist before turning to writing. In 1939, he debuted as both a playwright (with the relatively obscure "We the Willoughbys," co-written with Harry Ingram) and as a screenwriter ("Panama Lady," an RKO vehicle for Lucille Ball). The following year he married Fay Mitchell and by 1942, the married couple was under contract at MGM where they teamed with Allen Rivken on the low-budget "Sunday Punch." That same year, his work with Lardner on "Woman of the Year" catapulted him to the front ranks, particularly after they shared the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. He and Lardner again worked together as two of the credited writers on "The Cross of Lorraine" (1943). Four years later, Kanin served as producer on "A Double Life" (1947), scripted by his brother and sister-in-law, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. This melodrama about...

While not as well-known as his younger brother Garson, Michael Kanin was an Oscar-winning screenwriter who collaborated on two romantic comedy classics, 1942's "Woman of the Year," which teamed Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn for the first time, and the 1958 Clark Gable-Doris Day vehicle "Teacher's Pet."

Born and raised in the state of New York, Kanin began as a commercial and scenic artist before turning to writing. In 1939, he debuted as both a playwright (with the relatively obscure "We the Willoughbys," co-written with Harry Ingram) and as a screenwriter ("Panama Lady," an RKO vehicle for Lucille Ball). The following year he married Fay Mitchell and by 1942, the married couple was under contract at MGM where they teamed with Allen Rivken on the low-budget "Sunday Punch." That same year, his work with Lardner on "Woman of the Year" catapulted him to the front ranks, particularly after they shared the Best Original Screenplay Oscar. He and Lardner again worked together as two of the credited writers on "The Cross of Lorraine" (1943). Four years later, Kanin served as producer on "A Double Life" (1947), scripted by his brother and sister-in-law, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. This melodrama about an actor who too closely identifies with a role he is playing is recalled for its Oscar-winning lead performance by Ronald Colman.

In the 1950s, Kanin added directing to his resume with "When I Grow Up" (1951), a modestly-budgeted film for Eagle Lion which starred Bobby Driscoll as a lad who discovers how much he has in common with his grandfather. He and his wife enjoyed a successful pairing as screenwriters with "My Pal Gus" (1952), a wholesome Richard Widmark vehicle in which he learns to be a father and a giving lover, followed by "Rhapsody" (1954), a triangular love story starring Elizabeth Taylor. The Kanins penned "The Other Sex" (1956), the quasi-musical remake of Clare Booth Luce's campy bitchfest "The Women" (originally filmed in 1939). "Teacher's Pet" brought the husband and wife team an Oscar nomination. Additionally, the spouses penned a stage version of the classic 1950 Japanese film "Rashomon," which Michael Kanin later adapted for the screen in 1964 as the western "The Outrage." Their final screenplay together was the swashbuckler "The Swordsman of Siena" (1962).

In the late 60s, Kanin began a second collaboration with writer Ben Starr that resulted in the Bob Hope comedy " "How to Commit Marriage" (1969) and the 1974 L.A. produced play "M. Lord and Lady," after which he more or less retired until his death from congestive heart failure in 1993.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
  Once Upon a Horse... (1958) Director
3.
  I Married a Woman (1958) Director
4.
  Loving You (1957) Director
5.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Lunch (2012)
2.
 Color Adjustment (1991)
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Milestones close milestones

:
Launched his comedy writing career in radio in the late 1930s
1949:
Television writing debut on comedy variety program "The Ed Wynn Show"
1954:
Created, produced and was head writer of "The George Gobel Show" (NBC, CBS)
1968:
Created and produced groundbreaking NBC sitcom "Julia," starring Diahann Carroll; also directed several episodes
1957:
Feature directorial debut, "Loving You" starring Elvis Presley
1964:
Created the comedy series "Valentine's Day" (ABC); also wrote, directed and produced
1961:
Wrote the musical comedy feature "Blue Hawaii," starring Presley
1955:
Collaborated with Tennessee Williams on the big screen adaptation of Williams' drama "The Rose Tattoo"
1999:
Released the memoir <i>So Far, So Funny: My Life in Show Business</i>
1980:
Helmed the ABC TV-movie "For the Love of It"
1952:
Began writing for the Academy Awards telecast; went on to write several Oscar shows for more than 30 years
1980:
Produced and wrote the NBC TV-movie "Lucy Moves to NBC"
2008:
Received final writing credit for the Academy Awards
1970:
Wrote, directed and executive produced "Three Coins in the Fountain" (NBC)
:
Moved to Long Beach, NY when he was around 16
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