Film and TV writer David Shaw, who was Golden Globe-nommed for his screenplay for “If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium,” died July 27 in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 90.
The younger brother of novelist Irwin Shaw, he was part of a group in the 1950s credited with creating television’s Golden Age.
He started writing for radio after serving in the Army Air Corps in Africa during WWII, and transitioned to television as the new medium took shape in the early 1950s.
Shaw wrote teleplays for ensemble shows including “Philco Television Playhouse”; “Playhouse 90,” for which he adapted the Irwin Shaw short story “The 80 Yard Run”; “Goodyear Playhouse” and “Studio One.” A musical adaptation of “Our Town” for the “Producers Showcase” series with Frank Sinatra, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward brought him a 1956 Emmy nom for best adaptation.
He was story editor and wrote many episodes for TV series such as “Mr. Peepers,” starring Wally Cox and “The Defenders,” starring E. G. Marshall.
During the late 1950s and early 1960s, he also wrote for the stage, creating the book for the Broadway musical “Redhead” starring Gwen Verdon and Richard Kiley and the book for the musical “Tovarich” starring Vivien Leigh. He won a Tony award for best book for “Redhead.”
In 1990, he was given the Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television Writing Achievement for his scripts across four decades.
Shaw taught screenplay writing at the American Film Institute for several years.
After retiring from writing, he had several exhibitions of his drawings and paintings.
In 2003, Shaw was one of the subjects of a short documentary called “Funny Old Guys,” about a lunch group of writers from film and television who met weekly to exchange jokes and reminisce about their lives and careers.
He is survived by his wife, actress Maxine Stuart; daughters Liz Baron and Ellen Agress, deputy general counsel of News Corp.; a stepdaughter, Chris Ann Maxwell, VP of Fox Searchlight Pictures; and four grandchildren.