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Jo Swerling (1893–1964)

Oscar-nominated Hollywood screenwriter Jo Swerling, who also was a Tony Award-winning Broadway writer and lyricist, was born in Berdichev, Ukraine in what was then the Russian Empire. His family emigrated from Czarist Russia and he grew up on the Lower East Side in New York City. From a youthful job peddling newspapers, he worked his way up to ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Known For

It's a Wonderful Life
Guys and Dolls
Lifeboat Writer


Hide Hide Show Show Writer (67 credits)
 1977 It Happened One Christmas (TV Movie) (screenplay It's a Wonderful Life)
 1959 Markham (TV Series) (written by - 1 episode)
- Woman of Arles (1959) ... (written by)
 1956 Producers' Showcase (TV Series) (adaptation - 1 episode)
- The Lord Don't Play Favorites (1956) ... (adaptation)
 1955 Guys and Dolls (based upon the play: "Guys and Dolls" book by)
 1951 Thunder in the East (screenplay)
 1946 It's a Wonderful Life (additional scenes)
 1945 Leave Her to Heaven (screenplay)
 1944 Wing and a Prayer (contributing writer - uncredited)
 1944 Lifeboat (screen play)
 1943 A Lady Takes a Chance (story)
 1943 Crash Dive (screenplay)
 1942 The Pride of the Yankees (screenplay)
 1941 Confirm or Deny (screenplay)
 1941 New York Town (story)
 1941 Blood and Sand (screenplay)
 1940 The Westerner (screenplay)
 1939 Gone with the Wind (contributing writer - uncredited)
 1939 The Real Glory (screenplay)
 1939 Made for Each Other (screenplay)
 1938 I Am the Law (screenplay)
 1938 Doctor Rhythm (writer)
 1937 Double Wedding (screen play)
 1936 Pennies from Heaven (screenplay)
 1936 The Music Goes 'Round (dialogue)
 1935 Love Me Forever (screenplay)
 1935 The Whole Town's Talking (screen play)
 1934 Lady by Choice (screen play)
 1934 The Defense Rests (screenplay) / (story)
 1933 East of Fifth Avenue (writer)
 1933 Man's Castle (screenplay)
 1933 As the Devil Commands (story)
 1933 The Wrecker (screenplay)
 1933 The Woman I Stole (writer)
 1933 The Circus Queen Murder (screenplay)
 1933 Below the Sea (screen play) / (story - uncredited)
 1932 Man Against Woman (screenplay)
 1932 Washington Merry-Go-Round (screen play)
 1932 War Correspondent (adaptation and dialogue)
 1932 Attorney for the Defense (adaptation) / (dialogue)
 1932 Shopworn (dialogue)
 1932 Love Affair
 1932 Behind the Mask (dialogue) / (story "In the Secret Service")
 1932 Forbidden (adaptation and dialogue)
 1931 The Deceiver
 1931 Platinum Blonde (adaptation)
 1931 El pasado acusa (scenario)
 1931 The Miracle Woman (screenplay and dialogue)
 1931 The Good Bad Girl (dialogue)
 1931 Carne de cabaret (story)
 1931 Dirigible (adaptation and dialogue)
 1930 Madonna of the Streets (adaptation) / (continuity) / (dialogue)
 1930 The Squealer (dialogue)
 1930 Rain or Shine (dialogue and continuity)
 1930 Ladies Must Play (dialogue)
 1930 Hell's Island (adaptation) / (screenplay)
 1930 Sisters (dialogue) / (scenario)
 1930 Around the Corner (dialogue) / (story)
 1930 Ladies of Leisure (adaptation and dialogue)
 1930 The Kibitzer (play - as Joseph Swirling)
 1929 Melody Lane (play "The Understander")
 1921 Humor Risk (Short)
Show Show Editorial department (1 credit)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

(2004-2005 season) He and Abe Burrows wrote the book for the musical, "Guys and Dolls," at the Long Wharf Theatre (Mainstage) in New Haven, Connecticut. Based on a story and characters by Damon Runyon. Frank Loesser was composer and lyricist. Kim Rubinstein was director. Daniel Pelzig was choreographer. Jamie Schmidt was ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Article | See more »

Alternate Names:

Joseph Swirling


5' 9" (1.75 m)

Did You Know?


Won two Tony Awards in 1951 with collaborator Abe Burrows for "Guys and Dolls": as Best Authors (Musical) and as authors of the book of the Best Musical winner. See more »

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