Scribe received Oscar nom for co-writing 'Ulysses'

Director and Oscar-nommed screenwriter Fred Haines died May 4 in Venice, Calif. after a lengthy battle with lung cancer. He was 72.

With director Joseph Strick, Haines co-wrote the screenplay for the 1967 film “Ulysses,” based on the novel by James Joyce, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award.

He wrote and directed the 1974 Herman Hesse adaptation “Steppenwolf,” starring Max Von Sydow and Dominique Sanda.

Born in Los Angeles, Haines was raised in Tucson, Ariz., served in the U.S. Navy and attended Columbia U., the U. of Arizona and the U. of Calif., Berkeley.

In 1960, he went to work for Pacifica Radio, and from there became station manager of public radio station KPFK in Los Angeles. Through film critic Pauline Kael, he was introduced to producer/director Joseph Strick, who helped him get hired as a story analyst for Columbia Pictures and then as assistant head of the story department.

 When Strick obtained the rights to “Ulysses” from Joyce’s estate, he hired Haines to work with him on the screenplay.  “The reason I chose Fred,” Strick later recalled, “was twofold: he knew the book and all the references contained within it, and he was also so damn smart.” The rule that Haines and Strick imposed on themselves while working on the screenplay was “no new writing” — everything in the script had to be pure Joyce.

Haines directed documentary “Muhammad Ali, The Baddest Daddy in the Whole World,” a Silver Lion winner in Venice in 1973; as well as Henry Miller documentary “Round Trip” in 1969. He also wrote, produced, and directed “Saudi Arabia, A New Generation,” a feature-length docu for the Saudi Arabian government.

His other credits include the TV movie “Survive the Savage Sea” in 1992.

In later years, he directed theater in Dublin and lived in France and Switzerland, as well as collaborating on the Kennedy assassination book “Reclaiming History” with Vincent Bugliosi.

He is survived by a son, Sean, an entertainer and a daughter, Regan and two grandchildren.

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