68 Facts About Paddy Chayefsky


Paddy Chayefsky is the only person to have won three solo Academy Awards for writing both adapted and original screenplays.


Paddy Chayefsky was one of the most renowned dramatists of the Golden Age of Television.


Paddy Chayefsky received this honor three years after his death, in 1984.


Sidney Paddy Chayefsky was born in the Bronx, New York City, to Russian-Jewish immigrants Harry and Gussie Paddy Chayefsky.


Harry Paddy Chayefsky's father served for twenty-five years in the Russian army so the family was allowed to live in Moscow, while Gussie Stuchevsky lived in a village near Odessa.


Harry Paddy Chayefsky worked for a New Jersey milk distribution company in which he eventually took a controlling interest and renamed Dellwood Dairies.


Paddy Chayefsky's father suffered a financial reversal during the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and the family moved back to the Bronx.


Paddy Chayefsky studied languages at Fordham University during his Army service.


In 1943, two weeks before his graduation from City College, Paddy Chayefsky was drafted into the United States Army, and served in combat in Europe.


Paddy Chayefsky was wounded by a land mine while serving with the 104th Infantry Division in the European Theatre near Aachen, Germany.


Kanin enabled Paddy Chayefsky to spend time working on his second play, Put Them All Together, but it was never produced.


Paddy Chayefsky wrote a story, The Great American Hoax, which sold to Good Housekeeping but was never published.


Paddy Chayefsky went to Hollywood in 1947 with the aim of becoming a screenwriter.


Paddy Chayefsky studied acting at the Actor's Lab and Kanin got him a bit part in the film A Double Life.


Paddy Chayefsky returned to New York, submitted scripts, and was hired as an apprentice scriptwriter by Universal.


Movie rights were purchased by Twentieth Century Fox, Paddy Chayefsky was hired to write the script, and he returned to Hollywood in 1948.


Paddy Chayefsky moved into television with scripts for Danger, The Gulf Playhouse and Manhunt.


Philco Television Playhouse producer Fred Coe saw the Danger and Manhunt episodes and enlisted Paddy Chayefsky to adapt the story It Happened on the Brooklyn Subway about a photographer on a New York City Subway train who reunites a concentration camp survivor with his long-lost wife.


Paddy Chayefsky submitted more work to Philco, including Printer's Measure, The Bachelor Party and The Big Deal.


In 1953, Paddy Chayefsky wrote Marty, which was premiered on The Philco Television Playhouse, with Rod Steiger and Nancy Marchand.


Paddy Chayefsky was initially uninterested when producer Harold Hecht sought to buy film rights for Marty for Hecht-Hill-Lancaster.


Paddy Chayefsky then requested and was granted "co-director" status, so that he could take over production if Mann was fired.


Paddy Chayefsky was involved in all casting decisions and had a cameo role, playing one of Marty's friends, unseen, in a car.


Paddy Chayefsky refused, and her husband Gene Kelly intervened on her behalf.


Gore Vidal was hired to write the screenplay by MGM, while Paddy Chayefsky wrote the Bachelor Party.


Paddy Chayefsky wrote a film adaptation of his Broadway play Middle of the Night, originally writing the female lead role for Marilyn Monroe.


Paddy Chayefsky passed on the part, which went to Kim Novak.


Paddy Chayefsky commenced work on The Goddess, the story of the rise and fall of a movie star resembling Monroe.


The film received positive reviews, and Paddy Chayefsky received an Academy Award nomination for his script.


Paddy Chayefsky denied for years that the film was based on Monroe, but Paddy Chayefsky's biographer Shaun Considine observes that not only was she the prototype but the film "captured her longing and despair" accurately.


Paddy Chayefsky agreed to adapting the novel but only if he could fundamentally change the story.


Paddy Chayefsky made the titular character more sophisticated, but refusing to be "Americanized" by accepting material goods.


William Wyler was initially brought in as the director, but his relationship with Paddy Chayefsky deteriorated when he sought to change the script.


Paddy Chayefsky worked for a time on adapting Huie's book Three Lives for Mississippi, about the murders of three civil rights workers in 1964, and in 1967 was hired to adapt the Broadway musical Paint Your Wagon.


Paddy Chayefsky began to consider a film that would be set among the civil unrest taking place at the time.


Paddy Chayefsky then commenced research, reading medical books and visiting hospitals.


One of the monologues of George C Scott as Bock in the film, in which Bock says he is miserable and considering suicide, was repeated verbatim from a conversation that Chayefsky had with a business associate during that time.


Paddy Chayefsky vetoed the studio's suggestion that Walter Matthau or Burt Lancaster be hired for the lead role, insisting on Scott.


Paddy Chayefsky worked on the dialogue with Diana Rigg, the female lead, but Scott rejected his input.


Paddy Chayefsky won an Academy Award for his script, and his career was revived.


Paddy Chayefsky researched the project by watching hours of television and consulting with NBC executive David Tebet, who allowed Paddy Chayefsky to attend programming meetings.


Paddy Chayefsky later conducted research at CBS and met with Walter Cronkite.


Paddy Chayefsky later called it an easy speech to write, reflecting his view that people had a right to get mad.


Ultimately it was decided that the film would be a co-production of MGM and United Artists, with Paddy Chayefsky having complete creative control.


Paddy Chayefsky refused requests by UA and MGM to give the film a "softer" ending, feeling that the actual ending - with the Howard Beale character assassinated at the order of the network's executives - would alienate audiences.


Outside the expected negative reviews from television network film critics, the film was a critical and box office success, winning ten Academy Award nominations, and Paddy Chayefsky won his third Academy Award, making him the only three-time solo recipient of a screenwriting Oscar; all the other three-time winners shared at least one of their awards with co-writers.


When Peter Finch posthumously won Best Actor for playing Beale, Paddy Chayefsky was to accept on his behalf, but he defied the show's producer, William Friedkin, and called Finch's wife Eletha to the stage to accept the award.


Paddy Chayefsky agreed to do research, and spent three months exploring the subject of what eventually became the Beatty film Reds.


Paddy Chayefsky conducted research on genetic regression, speaking to doctors and professors of anthropology and human genetics.


Paddy Chayefsky then began a rough outline of a story in which the lead character immerses himself in an isolation tank, and with the aid of hallucinogens regresses to become a prehuman creature.


Paddy Chayefsky wrote an eighty-seven page treatment and, at the suggestion of Columbia executive Daniel Melnick, he adapted it into a novel.


Paddy Chayefsky suffered greatly from stress while working on the novel, resulting in a heart attack in 1977.


Paddy Chayefsky did not promote the book, which he viewed only as a blueprint for the screenplay.


Paddy Chayefsky had the power to fire Russell, but was told by Gottfried that he could only do so if he took over direction himself.


Paddy Chayefsky left for New York and continued to monitor production.


Paddy Chayefsky later said that in retaliation the actors were instructed to speak their lines while eating or talking too fast.


Upset by the filming of his screenplay, Paddy Chayefsky withdrew from the production of Altered States and took his name off the credits, substituting the pseudonym Sidney Aaron.


Paddy Chayefsky was a grown-up with one foot in the boys' clubs of his city youth, a street snob who would not allow the loss of his nostalgia.


Paddy Chayefsky was an intellectual competitor, always spoiling for a political argument or a philosophical argument, or any exchange over any issue, changing sides for the fun of the fray.


Paddy Chayefsky was under psychoanalysis for years, beginning in the late 1950s, to deal with his volatile behavior and rage, which at times was difficult to control.


Early in his career, Paddy Chayefsky was an opponent of McCarthyism.


Paddy Chayefsky signed a telegram signed by other writers and performers protesting federal inaction after a concert featuring Paul Robeson in Peekskill, New York, prompted violence in which 150 persons were injured.


Paddy Chayefsky believed that "Zionists" was a code word for "Jews" by Marxist anti-Semites.


Paddy Chayefsky composed, without credit, pro-Israel ads for the Anti-Defamation League at the time of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.


Paddy Chayefsky rejected Jane Fonda and Vanessa Redgrave for the role of the female lead in Network because of what he alleged were their "anti-Israel leanings," even though Redgrave was director Sidney Lumet's first choice.


Paddy Chayefsky met his future wife Susan Sackler during his 1940s stay in Hollywood.


Paddy Chayefsky died in a New York hospital on August 1,1981, aged 58, and was interred in the Sharon Gardens Division of Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, Westchester County, New York.


Longtime friend Bob Fosse performed a tap dance at the funeral, as part of a deal he and Paddy Chayefsky had made when Fosse was in the hospital for open-heart surgery.