Ira Wallach, a playwright, novelist and Oscar-nominated screenwriter, died Dec. 2 in New York City of complications following a stroke. He was 83.
Among his Broadway plays were “Stick and Stones” (starring Hermione Gingold), “Phoenix 55” (starring Nancy Walker), “Sleep We Must” (with Alice Ghostly), “Drink to Me Only” (written with A.S. Ginnes, starring Tom Poston).
Off Broadway productions included “Smiling, the Boy Fell Dead” and “Absence of a Cello,” also produced in London, Paris, Germany and Holland.
His published books included “Hopalong-Freud Rides Again,” “How to be Deliriously Happy,” “Guttenberg’s Folly,” “The Horn and the Roses,” “How to Pick a Wedlock” and “Muscle Beach” which was later made into a feature film, “Don’t Make Waves” (1967) with Tony Curtis and Claudia Cardinale.
Wallach also wrote the screenplays for “Boys’ Night Out” (Kim Novak, James Garner, Tony Randall, 1962), “The Wheeler Dealers” (James Garner, Lee Remick, 1963) and “Hot Millions” (Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Karl Malden, 1968) for which Wallach received an Academy Award nomination, and pic won the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain award for comedy screenplay.
Wallach is survived by his wife, Lillian, and a daughter.