William James Fadiman, an executive story editor for Columbia Pictures and a vice president at Dick Powell’s Seven Arts, died July 30 at the UCLA Medical Center due to severe injuries caused by a fall. He was 90.
Fadiman’s eclectic career began in 1930s New York, where he worked as a literary and film agent.
He was next a story editor at RKO-Pathe and Columbia before becoming scenario and story editor for MGM, in charge of New York, West Coast and European story departments.
In 1947, Fadiman became Dore Schary’s executive assistant at RKO, and when the company was sold, he became a producer at Columbia.
He made three pics, “Bad for Each Other” (1954), “Jubal” (1956) and “The Last Frontier” (1956) before becoming Columbia’s executive story editor.
In 1961, he began his stint at Seven Arts, and became an executive literary advisor and script analyst when the company affiliated with Warner Bros.
Fadiman additionally authored several books and taught screenwriting at UCLA and the American Film Institute.
He is survived by his wife, two sons, and four grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to the Ahmanson/UCLA Congential Heart Disease Center, the John Alfred Lesser Memorial Scholarship Fund at Leo Baeck Temple, or the Braille Institute.