E. Jack Neuman, an Emmy-nominated writer and producer whose five-decade career spanned film, radio and TV, died Jan. 15 of heart failure at his Los Angeles home. He was 76.
Neuman, a graduate of the U. of Missouri, began his career in 1945 while recovering in the Naval Hospital in San Diego from tuberculosis, which he contracted in the South Pacific while serving in the U.S. Marines. While in the Marines, he sold his first screenplay, “The Silver Bandit,” to King Bros. Prods.
Following his discharge, he wrote for radio programs including “Sam Spade” and “Suspense Theater” while attending UCLA law school.
Neuman’s career began to take off during the 1950s as he wrote for popular TV shows including “The Untouchables,” “The Twilight Zone” and “Gunsmoke.”
During the 1960s, he landed on the MGM lot, where he produced the pilot for “Dr. Kildare” and created “Sam Benedict” and the series “Mr. Novak.” Neuman also wrote the screenplay for the feature “The Venetian Affair” (MGM, 1966).
Additional writing credits included “The Blue Knight” and the two-hour pilot for “Police Story,” which became a successful series for NBC.
In 1981, he created and produced the five-hour drama “Inside the Third Reich,” based on the life of Hitler protege and Nazi Armaments Minister Albert Speer, for which Neuman received an Emmy nomination and the Writers Guild of America Award for outstanding script, television longform.
During his long career, Neuman was the recipient of numerous writing awards, particularly from the Writers Guild of America. He was nominated six times for WGA awards, winning four times. He was awarded, cited and nominated more than 53 times, including several Edgar Allen Poe awards from the Mystery Writers of America, the Peabody Award for “Mr. Novak” and the President Eisenhower Freedoms Award for “The Scott Machine.”
Neuman was honored by the U. of Wisconsin Center for Theater Research, which established the E. Jack Neuman Archives for students of writing and production.
Neuman also taught writing courses at various universities, including UCLA and USC.
In addition to his wife, Marian Collier Neuman, he is survived by four children from a previous marriage and a granddaughter.
Services will be held Saturdayat the Westwood Village Park Mortuary, 1218 Glendon Ave. For more information, call (310) 474-1579.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests donations in Neuman’s name be made to the American Heart Assn. or the American Lung Assn.