Oscar-nominated screenwriter also wrote 'Norma Rae'
“Hud” and “Norma Rae” scribe Irving Ravetch died Sept. 19 in Los Angeles. He was 89 and had been ailing for some time.Ravetch and his wife, Harriet Frank Jr., were Oscar-nommed for adapted screenplay on both pics. Together they penned 18 other films between the 1960s and 1980s. Beginning in 1957, the couple collaborated on critically acclaimed screenplays for pics including Paul Newman starrers “Hombre,” and “The Long, Hot Summer” besides adapting 1963’s “Hud.” Other films the two co-wrote include “Conrack,” “The Reivers,” “The Sound and the Fury,” “Home From the Hill,” “The Cowboys,” “Murphy’s Romance” and “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.” They were jointly given the Writers Guild of America’s Laurel Award for their screenplays. After graduating from UCLA, Ravetch joined MGM’s young writers training program, where he met Frank, whom he married the following year in 1946. For nearly a decade he mostly penned oaters such as “Vengeance Valley” until he and Frank pitched “The Long, Hot Summer,” an adaptation of William Faulkner’s “The Hamlet,” to producer Jerry Wald. When Wald asked Ravetch to suggest a director he proposed Martin Ritt, beginning a relationship that led to eight films, kicking off with 1958’s “Summer” and including “Hud,” “Norma Rae,” “The Sound and the Fury,” “Murphy’s Romance” and “Stanley and Iris.” In an introduction to a New American Library book reprinting three Ravetch/Frank Jr. screenplays, Ritt wrote: “Our whole lives are intertwined in this work, from ‘The Long, Hot Summer,’ back in the ’50s, on. I am proud of the movies we’ve made together and consider several among them the finest of my career.” Ravetch is survived by his wife, Frank; a sister and a brother.
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