Paddy Chayefsky (Sidney Aaron Chayefsky)

Paddy Chayefsky

Sidney Aaron “Paddy” Chayefsky (January 29, 1923 – August 1, 1981) was an American playwright, screenwriter and novelist. He is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for Best Screenplay (the other three-time winners, Woody Allen, Francis Ford Coppola, Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder, have all shared their awards with co-writers). He was considered one of the most renowned dramatists of the so-called Golden Age of Television. His intimate, realistic scripts provided a naturalistic style of television drama for the 1950s, and he was regarded as the central figure in the “kitchen sink realism” movement of American television. Martin Gottfried wrote in All His Jazz that Chayefsky “was a successful writer, the most successful graduate of television’s slice of life school of naturalism.” Following his critically acclaimed teleplays, Chayefsky continued to succeed as a playwright and novelist. As a screenwriter, he received three Academy Awards for Marty (1955), The Hospital (1971) and Network (1976). The movie Marty was based on his own television drama about a relationship between two lonely people finding love. Network was his scathing satire of the television industry and The Hospital was also satiric. Film historian David Thomson termed The Hospital “daring, uninhibited, and prophetic. No one else would have dreamed of doing it.” Chayefsky’s early stories were frequently influenced by the author’s childhood in The Bronx. Chayefsky was part of the inaugural class of inductees into the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Television Hall of Fame. He received this honor three years after his death, in 1984. Chayefsky died in New York City of cancer, for which he had declined surgery, in 1981, aged 58, and was interred in the Sharon Gardens Division of Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County, New York. His personal papers are at the Wisconsin Historical Society and the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Billy Rose Theatre Division.

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Born

  • January, 29, 1923
  • USA
  • The Bronx, New York, New York

Died

  • August, 01, 1981
  • USA
  • New York, New York

Cause of Death

  • cancer

Cemetery

  • Sharon Gardens Cemetery
  • Valhalla, New York
  • USA

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