Paul Monash, whose credits date back to television’s earliest years, has been named this year’s winner of the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award from the Writers Guild of America, West.
Monash will receive the honor, the organization’s highest honor for TV writing, at the annual WGA Award ceremony on March 5. Rod Serling received the first award in 1976 and past recipients include Steven Bochco, Larry Gelbart, Jess Oppenheimer, Carl Reiner and David Milch, last year’s honoree.
“Paul Monash continues to bring us some of the most intelligent and moving programs American audiences have ever seen,” said John Wells, president of WGAW. “We are inordinately pleased to honor him, a man justly associated with helping to create what we call television’s Golden Age.”
Monash, a Harlem native, earned a master’s degree from Columbia U, lived in Paris, studied art and rode trains before turning to TV writing for “Suspense,” “You Are There,” “Playhouse 90,” “Kraft Theatre,” “Studio One” and many others. He wrote the pilots for the series “The Untouchables,” “The Asphalt Jungle” and “Twelve O’Clock High” and became executive producer of “Peyton Place” and “Judd for the Defense.”
Monash then produced theatrical films including “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “Carrie” and “The Friends of Eddie Coyle,” which he also wrote. He subsequently returned to TV writing with “Stalin” for HBO and telepics such as “George Wallace” and “Kingfish: The Life of Huey Long.”