( b. May 01, 1922 Steubenville, Ohio, USA - d. Aug 24, 2008 Concord, New Hampshire, USA ) Male
Mr. Mosel was among a handful of writers, including Paddy Chayefsky, Gore Vidal and Rod Serling, who have received much of the credit for what has been called the golden age of live television. Beginning in 1947 and ending a decade later, dramatic plays performed live were a staple of network broadcasts.
Mr. Mosel wrote more than two dozen original scripts, not all of them credited, for shows like “Playhouse 90,” “Studio One” and “Philco Television Playhouse.” For “Producers’ Showcase,” he adapted “The Petrified Forest,” the Robert Sherwood play about customers in a remote cafe being held hostage by a gang of outlaws. It starred Henry Fonda, Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in a reprise of the bad-guy role, Duke Mantee, he played in the 1936 film.
On television, Mr. Mosel worked frequently with the producer Fred Coe, and it was Mr. Coe who asked him to adapt James Agee’s autobiographical novel, “A Death in the Family,” for the stage. Agee died in 1955, but the book, published in 1957, won the Pulitzer Prize the following year. Mr. Mosel’s adaptation, with the title “All the Way Home,” was praised for preserving the tender spirit of the novel, about a Tennessee family in 1915 overcome by grief when the father is killed in a car accident.
Directed by Arthur Penn, the play opened on Nov. 30, 1960, on Broadway at the Belasco Theater, but even with fine reviews, especially for Colleen Dewhurst’s performance as the mother — and a script that won a Pulitzer Prize — ticket sales were slow, and the producers posted closing notices four separate times, including on the day after opening night. Each time, ticket sales picked up, creating a series of last-minute rescues that newspapers began referring to as “The Miracle on 44th Street.” It finally closed on Sept. 16, 1961, after 333 performances.
Mr. Mosel went to Amherst College but left to enlist in the Army after Pearl Harbor. After three years in the Army, one in the South Pacific, he finished at Amherst, then attended Yale Drama School and Columbia. He was writing plays as well as acting, and he landed the nonspeaking (but scene-stealing) part of a haplessly lost private in a comic farce, “At War With the Army,” which ran on Broadway for several months in 1949. The same year, his first teleplay made it to the screen.
Mr. Mosel never matched the success of “All the Way Home.” He wrote the screenplay for the popular film “Up the Down Staircase” (1967) and the teleplay for a television version of “All the way Home” in 1971.
source: NY Times obit.
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