50 Oscar winning screenwriters

Oscar winning screenwriters; before 1940 "Best Story", after that "Writing: Original story"
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1.
Ben Hecht
Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood's and Broadway's greatest writers, won an Oscar for best original story for Underworld at the first Academy Awards in 1929 and had a hand in the writing of many classic films. He was nominated five more times for the best writing Oscar, winning (along with writing partner and friend Charles MacArthur...
“ Won two times, first 1927 with Underworld, then 1937 with The Scoundrel.
Also wrote the screenplays for Spellbound, Notorious, His Girl Friday and dozens of other movies ” - ketutar
 
2.
“ A flier who loved writing. He won the Best Story 1931 for Dawn Patrol. He wrote the screenplay for Wings which was the first film ever to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
He killed himself 1940. ” - ketutar
 
3.
Frances Marion
Writer, Camille
The most renowned female screenwriter of the 20th century, and one of the most respected scripters of any gender, Frances Marion was born in San Francisco. She modeled and acted and had some success as a commercial artist. She entered into journalism and served in Europe as a combat correspondent during World War I...
“ She became the first female to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1930 for the film The Big House, she received the Academy Award for Best Story for The Champ in 1932. She wrote hundreds of screenplays. ” - ketutar
 
4.
Robert Lord
Harvard graduate Robert Lord studied English literature and playwriting in George Pierce Baker's renowned Workshop 47. He subsequently put this training into practice as a story writer for the New Yorker. Before long, one of his contributions, The Lucky Horseshoe, attracted the attention of Hollywood producers and motivated Lord to relocate to the West Coast...
“ Won Best story 1933 for One Way Passage. ” - ketutar
 
5.
“ Best Story 1934; Manhattan Melodrama, which is most famous today for being the film that John Dillinger had just been to see before getting gunned down outside the cinema. Most of his screenplays were for B-movies. ” - ketutar
 
6.
Charles MacArthur
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers out there are starving!" When Patrick Dennis's fictional Auntie Mame uttered this pithy observation, she could have been speaking of Charles MacArthur. Charlie never shied away from the feast, and he certainly never went hungry. Arriving in November 1895 in Scranton...
“ 1935, cowriter of The Scoundrel, with Ben Hecht. He wrote several movie scripts together with Ben Hecht, for example His Girl Friday, and the 1939 Wuthering Heights. ” - ketutar
 
7.
“ Won the Best Story 1936 for The Story of Louis Pasteur with Sheridan Gibney ” - ketutar
 
8.
“ Won the Best Story 1936 for The Story of Louis Pasteur with Pierre Collings ” - ketutar
 
9.
“ Won 1937 for The Star Is Born, with William A. Wellman ” - ketutar
 
10.
William A. Wellman
Director, A Star Is Born
William Wellman, the Oscar-winning screenwriter-director of the original A Star Is Born, was called "Wild Bill" during his World War I service as an aviator, a nickname that persisted in Hollywood due to his larger-than-life personality and lifestyle. A leap-year baby born in 1896 on the 29th of February in Brookline...
“ While he was primarily a director, he wrote the story for A Star Is Born and received a story credit for both remakes in 1954 and 1976 ” - ketutar
 
11.
Eleanore Griffin
Eleanore Griffin, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who won her Academy Award along with co-writer Dore Schary for Boys Town, was born on April 29, 1904, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Griffin began writing screenplays at Universal in 1937, being credited for the comedies When Love Is Young (directed by Hal Mohr) and Love in a Bungalow (directed by Ray McCarey...
“ won her Academy Award along with co-writer Dore Schary for Boys Town (1938). One of the most neglected screenwriters suffering much for the fact that she was a woman, the "vertical integration" and the "auteur theory". ” - ketutar
 
12.
Lewis R. Foster
Prolific composer, songwriter, author and director, educated at the University of California. He began his directorial and film-writing career in 1920. He also worked as a newspaperman in San Francisco. He joined ASCAP in 1960.
“ Directed and wrote over one hundred films and television series between 1926 and 1960, but won only one Oscar for the "best story" for Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. ” - ketutar
 
13.
“ He is best known for his Oscar-winning writing for Seventh Heaven (1927) and Arise, My Love (1941). Additional screenwriting credits include The Merry Widow, Flesh and the Devil, Mata Hari, A Farewell to Arms, We're Not Dressing, and Tortilla Flat. ” - ketutar
 
14.
“ In 1941, Segall won an Academy Award for best original story for the film Here Comes Mr. Jordan, based on his play Heaven Can Wait.
A 1978 film version of Heaven Can Wait starred Warren Beatty which was subsequently remade several times under various titles, most recently in 2001 starring Chris Rock. ” - ketutar
 
15.
Emeric Pressburger
Educated at the Universities of Prague and Stuttgart, Emeric Pressburger worked as a journalist in Hungary and Germany and an author and scriptwriter in Berlin and Paris. He was a Hungarian Jew, chased around Europe (he worked on films for UFA in Berlin and Paris) before World War II, finally finding sanctuary in London--but as a scriptwriter who didn't speak English...
“ Won the Best Story Oscar 1942 for 49th Parallel (The Invaders)
Known as "Michael Powell's Screenwriter", as he wrote the script for 40 of his films, but wrote a lot of other screenplays as well. ” - ketutar
 
16.
William Saroyan
Writer, Izgnanie
The Oscar winner and Pulitzer Prize recipient William Saroyan, who gained world fame with his classic book "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" (1934), was born in California to Armenak and Takoohi Saroyan, Armenian refugees from the Turkish Ottoman Empire which perpetrated the Armenian genocide...
“ Won 1943 for the Human Comedy, the only screenplay he ever wrote. ” - ketutar
 
17.
“ Best known as the director, he wrote many of the screenplays for his movies. He won the Oscar for Going My Way 1945. ” - ketutar
 
18.
“ Best Story 1945; The House on 92nd St. ” - ketutar
 
19.
Clemence Dane
British novelist and playwright Clemence Dane was born Winifred Ashton in Kent, England, in 1888. A gifted student, she was educated in a variety of private schools and, at age 16, was hired to teach French in Geneva, Switzerland. A year later she returned to England and studied art for three years in London...
“ This British screenwriter was born Winifred Ashton. She won the Oscar for Vacation from Marriage in 1946. ” - ketutar
 
20.
“ Wrote the original story "Miracle on 34th Street", which was then adapted for screen by George Seaton ” - ketutar
 
21.
“ A Swiss playwriter, won Oscars 1944 (Best Writing: Original Screenplay - Marie-Louise) and 1948 (Best Story; The Search) together with another Swiss, David Wechsler ” - ketutar
 
22.
“ Wrote mostly for television, but won the "Best Story" Oscar 1949 for Stratton Story. ” - ketutar
 
23.
Edward Anhalt
A graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism, Edward Anhalt started his career in early television before turning to writing and producing films, often in collaboration with his wife Edna Anhalt. A prolific screenwriter, Anhalt and his wife won an Academy Award for Panic in the Streets. He got his second Oscar for Becket.
“ Won Best Story 1951 together with his wife Edna, for Panic in the Streets. Edna didn't write much anything after she divorced him 1957.
Won Best Adapted Story 1965 for Becket. ” - ketutar
 
24.
Paul Dehn
Writer, Goldfinger
Paul Dehn's show-business career began in 1936 as a movie reviewer for several London newspapers. He later wrote plays, operettas and musicals for the stage. Dehn's first screenplay, for Seven Days to Noon, garnered him an Oscar. He later wrote everything from James Bond films to entries in the "Planet of the Apes" series, and also was a lyricist for several film musicals.
“ British screenwriter, who won the Oscar for Best Story together with his life partner at that time, composer James Bernard, 1952. ” - ketutar
 
25.
“ Won two Oscars, the first together with Frank Butler, 1945, Going My Way, and the second together with Fredric M. Frank and Theodore St. John, for the Greatest Show on Earth, 1953. ” - ketutar
 
26.
“ A writer and an actor, who won Oscar for "Best Screenplay" for Going My Way, 1944, together with Frank Cavett. ” - ketutar
 
27.
Dalton Trumbo
Writer, Spartacus
Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, arguably the most talented, most famous of the blacklisted film professionals known to history as the Hollywood 10, was born in Montrose, Colorado to Orus Trumbo and his wife, the former Maud Tillery. Dalton Trumbo was raised at 1124 Gunnison Ave. in Grand Junction...
“ One of the Hollywood Ten, who was blacklisted because he refused to testify for MacCarthy.
Won Oscars during his blacklisting 1954 as Ian McLellan Hunter, for Roman Holiday and 1957 as Robert Rich, for The Brave One. He also wrote the script for Spartacus, Exodus and Papillon, to mention a couple. ” - ketutar
 
28.
“ Won the Oscar 1954 for Broken Lance. ” - ketutar
 
29.
“ Won the Oscar "Best Story" 1955 for Love Me or Leave Me. The Screenplay was written together with Isobel Lennart, but it didn't win. ” - ketutar
 
30.
Preston Sturges
Preston Sturges' own life is as unlikely as some of the plots of his best work. He was born into a wealthy family. As a boy he helped out on stage productions for his mother's friend, Isadora Duncan (the scarf that strangled her was made by his mother's company, Maison Desti). He served in the U.S...
“ Won the "original screenplay" 1940 for the Great McGinty.
He has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame ” - ketutar
 
31.
Herman J. Mankiewicz
Writer, Citizen Kane
Herman J. Mankiewicz, now known primarily as the man who co-wrote Citizen Kane with Hollywood's greatest wunderkind, Orson Welles, was one of the highest-paid screenwriters in Hollywood and the head of Paramount's screen-writing department in the late 1920s and early '30s. He reached the pinnacle of his craft soon after arriving in Hollywood...
“ Wrote the original story that was to become Citizen Kane.
He too has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame ” - ketutar
 
32.
Orson Welles
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was nine) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr. Maurice Bernstein...
“ Won Oscar together with Herman Mankiewicz for Citizen Kane. Another director who wrote a lot of his own material. ” - ketutar
 
33.
Michael Kanin
The older brother of writer/producer/director Garson Kanin, Michael Kanin was a fine talent in his own right. After serving a creative apprenticeship writing and acting in Catskill resort shows with his brother, Kanin worked as a commercial artist and musician. In 1939 he was signed to a screenwriting contract at RKO...
“ 1942, best original screenplay, Woman of the Year, together with Ring Lardner Jr. Later he married Kay Mitchell, who is a screenwriter of her own right. ” - ketutar
 
34.
Ring Lardner Jr.
Writer, MASH
The Oscar-winning screenwriter, Ring Lardner, Jr., will always be known for one of two things: that he was the son of one of the greatest humorists American literature has produced, and he was one of the Hollywood 10, the ten film-makers who refused to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) investigating subversion in Hollywood and were fined and jailed for the defiance...
“ Another blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter and a member of the Hollywood Ten.
Won Oscar 1942 for Woman of the Year, and 1970 for M*A*S*H, best adapted script. ” - ketutar
 
35.
Norman Krasna
Writer, Indiscreet
Humorist, playwright and screenwriter Norman Krasna went to great lengths planning for a career in law: he attended New York University, Columbia University and St. John's University law school, then abruptly changed his plans and started work as a copy boy at a New York newspaper. He had a brief stint as a drama critic for the Evening Graphic and wrote a column for the Exhibitor's Herald World...
“ He garnered four Academy Award screenwriting nominations, winning once for 1943's Princess O'Rourke, a film he also directed. ” - ketutar
 
36.
Lamar Trotti
Author and screenwriter, often preoccupied with American history as viewed from a Southern perspective. Born in Atlanta, Trotti studied writing at Columbia University and was also the first person to graduate from the University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism. In 1923, he became the youngest editor employed by a newspaper owned by the Hearst Press...
“ Won the Oscar for Original screenplay 1944 for Wilson ” - ketutar
 
37.
“ Won Oscar for best original screenplay 1946 for Seventh Veil with her husband Sydney.
Muriel was a screenwriter and director, a feminist and she made movies of controversial subjects, which got her movies often banned. ” - ketutar
 
38.
Sidney Sheldon
Sheldon was born in Chicago on February 17, 1917. He began writing as a youngster and at the age of ten he made his first sale of a poem for $10. During the Depression, he worked at a variety of jobs and while attending Northwestern University he contributed short plays to drama groups. At seventeen...
“ Won Oscar for Original Screenplay 1947 for The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, but is more known for his television scripts (I dream of Jeannie, Hart to Hart) and later best selling novels. ” - ketutar
 
39.
Robert Pirosh
Robert Pirosh enjoyed a lengthy Hollywood career, which began when he was signed by MGM, along with fellow newcomer George Seaton , as a contributing writer in 1934. His most notable success was garnering the Academy Award for his screenplay of Battleground, a film based on the Second World War...
“ He earned an Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay in 1949 for his script for the World War II drama Battleground.
He wrote the script for A Day At The Races for Marx Brothers. ” - ketutar
 
40.
Charles Brackett
Writer, Sunset Blvd.
Charles Brackett, born in Saratoga Springs, New York, of Scottish ancestry, followed in his attorney-father's footsteps and graduated with a law degree from Harvard University in 1920. He practised law for several years, before commencing work as drama critic for The New Yorker (1925-29), in addition to submitting short stories to The Saturday Evening Post...
“ Won Oscars 1951, best story and screenplay together with Billy Wilder and D.M.Marshman Jr. for Sunset Bulevard and 1954 together with Walter Reisch and Richard L. Breen for Titanic.
These three wrote also the screenplays to among others Ninotchka and Niagara.
1946; Best adapted screenplay; The Lost Weekend with Billy Wilder.
1958 he was awarded a honorary Oscar for "outstanding service to the Academy". ” - ketutar
 
41.
Billy Wilder
Originally planning to become a lawyer, Billy Wilder abandoned that career in favor of working as a reporter for a Viennese newspaper, using this experience to move to Berlin, where he worked for the city's largest tabloid. He broke into films as a screenwriter in 1929, and wrote scripts for many German films until Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933...
“ Won 3 Oscars for writing:
1946; Best adapted screenplay; The Lost Weekend with Charles Brackett
1951; Best original screenplay; Sunset Blvd, with Charles Brackett and D.M.Marshman Jr.
1961; Best original screenplay; The Apartment with I.A.L.Diamond
and Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award 1988. ” - ketutar
 
42.
Alan Jay Lerner
Soundtrack, Forrest Gump
Playwright/lyricist Alan Jay Lerner was born into a wealthy New York City retailing family. His professional association with Frederick Loewe started in 1942 when they teamed up to write "Life of the Party". Their first Broadway success was the 1947 musical fantasy "Brigadoon." Lerner adapted work for...
“ A composer who wrote two Oscar winning screenplays; 1951 An American In Paris (Best Original), and 1958; Gigi (Best Adapted). ” - ketutar
 
43.
T.E.B. Clarke
T.E.B. 'Tibby' Clarke graduated with a law degree from Cambridge University, but decided that writing was more his forte. He started on that career path first as writer for a magazine in Australia, than back in London freelancing as a journalist. He also had jobs on Fleet Street, worked in advertising...
“ won 1952 Original Screenplay Oscar for Lavender Hill Mob. ” - ketutar
 
44.
“ Won Oscar for Original Screenplay together with Charles Brackett and Walter Reisch 1954 for Titanic.
These three wrote also the screenplays to among others Ninotchka and Niagara. ” - ketutar
 
45.
Walter Reisch
Writer, Gaslight
After completing studies in literature at the University of Vienna, Walter Reisch began his screen career as an extra and title writer in 1918. He eventually made the acquaintance of Stephan Lorant, a refuge from the Horty regime in Hungary, who, within a single year, had made a name for himself in Austrian films as a film maker and cinematographer...
“ Won Oscar for Original Screenplay together with Charles Brackett and Richard L. Breen 1954 for Titanic.
These three wrote also the screenplays to among others Ninotchka and Niagara. ” - ketutar
 
46.
“ Best Writing, Story and Screenplay for: On the Waterfront (1954). ” - ketutar
 
47.
Sonya Levien
Writer, Oklahoma!
Sonya, a graduate with a law degree from New York University, briefly practiced law before becoming a magazine editor and fiction writer. After several of her stories were adapted to the screen, she became a screenwriter. Levien wrote several screenplays for Will Rogers films and for Fox studios during the 1930s...
“ Won Oscar for best original screenplay 1955 for Interrupted Melody, together with William Ludvig ” - ketutar
 
48.
“ Won Oscar for best original screenplay 1955 for Interrupted Melody, together with Sonya Levien. ” - ketutar
 
49.
Albert Lamorisse
Director, The Red Balloon
A former photographer, he turned to directing short subjects in the late 40s, soon acquiring an international reputation for the poetic quality of his short and medium-length films involving the fantasy world of children. Both his White Mane and The Red Balloon received a grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival...
“ Best Writing, Best Screenplay - Original for: Le ballon rouge (1956). ” - ketutar
 
50.
George Wells
Son of vaudevillian Billy K. Wells. He studied at New York University and began as a writer for radio ('The Jack Pearl Show','Lux Radio Theater'), coming under contract to MGM in 1943 as a screenwriter. He soon acquired a reputation for his deft touch and inventiveness in light comedy and musicals...
“ Won Oscar for best original screenplay 1957 for Designing Woman ” - ketutar