Tuesday, January 12, 2016

R.I.P. Stanley Mann (1928-2016)

On January 11, 2016, screenwriter Stanley Mann died at the age of 88 at his home in Los Angeles, California. Among his many credits includes an Oscar-nominated screenplay for director William Wyler's The Collector as well as frequent collaborations with producer Dino Delaurentis and actor Sean Connery. He was also responsible for the film Conan the Destroyer and worked frequently in film until 1988. He leaves behind an impressive body of work that captures the sensibility of the times, mixing sequels with original work in ways that captivate and entertain.

Mann was born on August 8, 1928 in Toronto, Canada. During his early training, he worked at CBC Radio in his teens after attending school at McGill University. This was where he started his career as a writer and actor. In 1951, he made his official writing debut with The Butler's Night Off, which starred William Shatner as "A Crook." His filmography would continue to grow over the years as he became more and more known. 

In 1965, Mann worked with legendary director Wyler on The Collector, which also starred Terrence Stamp. Wyler had given up the gig to direct The Sound of Music (which was taken by Robert Wise) to do the film. Co-written with John Kohn, the book was based off of a book by John Fowles. The film ended up garnering three Oscars, featuring one for Mann as well as Best Director and Best Actress for Samantha Eggar. The film lost to The Sound of Music.

Mann was also involved in theater, working on plays such as Hide and Seek, with many of the plays being performed at the National Theater in London and Los Angeles. He continued to write films, including Conan the Destroyer and Firestarter. He also published the novel "Third Time Lucky." Mann was married to Florence Wood in 1950, but divorced in 1959. He currently has three children and four grandchildren.

While his work may not be as recognizable as most names, Mann was definitely a man dedicated to producing quality work that captured the enthusiasm of cinema and theater. Until his retirement in 1988, he managed to produce quality work for everyone from Wyler to Connery and Peter Sellers. Even without as many noteworthy credits, his work continues to inspire by capturing something exciting about film and theater. He will be missed, though his accomplishments will continue to live on. 

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