Don Mankiewicz, a member of a family of Hollywood royalty who earned an Oscar nomination for the screenplay to Susan Hayward starrer “I Want to Live!” and also worked in television, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at his home in Monrovia, Calif. He was 93.
Mankiewicz penned the pilot episodes of both ABC medical drama “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” which starred Robert Young and and James Brolin and ran 1969-76, and NBC cop drama “Ironside,” which starred Raymond Burr as a wheelchair-bound police detective on special assignment in San Francisco and ran 1967–75.
Don Mankiewicz was a son of Herman J. Mankiewicz, who won the screenplay Oscar for “Citizen Kane” together with with Orson Welles, and a nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won Oscars for writing and directing best picture winner “All About Eve” (1950).
Don’s brother, Frank Mankiewicz, who served as an aide to Democratic presidential candidates Robert F. Kennedy and George McGovern, died in October. Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz is Frank’s son.
Don Mankiewicz co-wrote the fact-based, Robert Wise-directed “I Want to Live!” (1958), about a prostitute (played by Hayward, who won the best actress Oscar for her performance) who was falsely accused of murder and executed.
His TV credits also included co-writing the “Star Trek” original-series episode “Court Martial,” in which Captain Kirk is falsely accused of murder; NBC miniseries “Profiles in Courage,” which adapted President John F. Kennedy’s book; segments of episodic anthology series including “Playhouse 90”; and episodes of series including “Mannix,” “McMillan & Wife,” “Simon & Simon” and “MacGyver.” He was most recently credited on ABC’s brief 1995 series “The Marshal,” starring Jeff Fahey.
Born in Beverly Hills, Mankiewicz graduated from Columbia University, did a stint in the Army and was a staff writer for the New Yorker. His novel “Trial” was made into the 1955 film of the same name starring Glenn Ford.
Survivors include his wife of 40-plus years, Carol; son John Mankiewicz, a writer and executive producer for “House of Cards”; and children Jan, Sandy and Jane.