Stanley Greenberg, who wrote the screenplay for the movie “Soylent Green” and helped spark the now-common “theater of fact” docudrama genre with his teleplays “The Missiles of October” and “Pueblo,” died Aug. 25 at his San Francisco Bay Area home from brain cancer. He was 74.
He was an Emmy nominee for writing “The Missiles of October,” about the Cuban missile crisis. He also wrote 1973 “Pueblo,” the TV drama starring Hal Holbrook about the North Korean capture of the American spy ship Pueblo. Script was first staged by D.C’s Arena Theater. TV version earned a Peabody.
Chicago native served in World War II and graduated from Brown U. His showbiz break came when he submitted a script for landmark TV dramatic skein “The Defenders” in the 1960s. The producers then hired him to write for the show. Later miniseries included 13-hour “Blind Ambition” about the Nixon White House and Watergate.
The “Soylent Green” screenplay is based on a novel about starving masses who subsist on food that turns out to be made of people. It won Greenberg the 1973 Nebula Award for Science Fiction Writing, given by the Science Fiction Writers of America, and the film has gone on to become a genre classic and cultural reference point. He also wrote the screenplay for “Skyjacked.”
He was active in pro-Israel, antinuclear and social justice causes, both on protest lines and in his scripts.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Tamara; three daughters; a brother; and six grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1 at Temple Chochmat Halev, 2215 Prince St., Berkeley.