Irving Ravetch (Irving Dover Ravetch)

Irving Ravetch

Irving Ravetch was born to a Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Sylvia (Shapiro) and I. Shalom Ravetch, a rabbi. His mother was born in Palestine and his father in the Ukraine. Ravetch was an aspiring playwright when he enrolled at University of California, Los Angeles. Following graduation, he joined the young writer’s training program at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, where he met Frank, whom he married in 1946. The following year he gained his first screen credit with Living in a Big Way. For the next decade, Irving Ravetch worked mostly on Western films such as Vengeance Valley. In 1958, he and Frank approached producer Jerry Wald and proposed they adapt the 1940 William Faulkner novel The Hamlet for the screen. The result was The Long, Hot Summer, which primarily was an original story with one of Faulkner’s characters at its center. When Wald greenlighted the film and asked Ravetch to choose a director, he suggested Martin Ritt, whom he knew from the Group Theatre and the Actors Studio in New York City. The Long, Hot Summer proved to be the first of eight projects – including The Sound and the Fury, Hud, Norma Rae, Murphy’s Romance, and Stanley & Iris – written by Ravetch and Frank and directed by Ritt. Additional screenwriting credits include Home from the Hill, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, The Reivers, The Spikes Gang, and The Cowboys. Irving Ravetch and Frank were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and won both the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Hud. He is a recipient of the Bronze Wrangler for The Cowboys, the Screen Laurel Award, and additional Oscar, WGA, and Golden Globe nominations. Ravetch died from pneumonia on September 19, 2010.

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  • November, 14, 1920
  • USA
  • Newark, New Jersey


  • September, 19, 2010
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • pneumonia

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