Monte L. Merrick, an accomplished and successful playwright, novelist and screenwriter probably best known for the screenplay for the film “Memphis Belle,” died in Santa Monica on March 24, following a battle with cancer . He was 65.
The 1990 film “Memphis Belle,” directed by Michael Caton-Jones, starred Harry Connick Jr., Eric Stoltz and Matthew Modine in the WWII story of the U.K.-based crew of a B-17 bomber who must go on one last mission, over the heavily defended city of Bremen, Germany.
Most recently, Merrick wrote the screenplay for the indie “Skating to New York,” released in December 2014.
He also penned the 1997 Disney TV version of “Oliver Twist,” starring Richard Dreyfuss and Elijah Wood; films including 1994 rodeo story “8 Seconds,” 1992 Tom Selleck starrer “Mr. Baseball” and the Lee Grant-directed 1989 dramedy “Staying Together”; and the TV movie “Miracle at Midnight.” His plays, produced Off Broadway in New York and throughout the country at regional theaters, include “Starry Night,” “Open Heart,” “Hell of a Town” and “Cat Feet.” His novels include “Shelter,” published in many languages, and two recent works, “The Merlin Pool” and “The Crimson Vortex,” published by Amazon.
Merrick was born in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Lewis & Clark College in Portland. He had a master’s degree in theater from the University of Colorado in Boulder.
He is survived by two brothers and two sisters; a nephew; and niece.
A celebration of Merrick’s life will take place Sunday, July 26, from 5-9 p.m. at 1909 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. For more information, to RSVP or to contribute to this event in any way, please go to https://www.facebook.com/events/915971445127604/ or call (818) 784-7795.