‘Rebel Without A Cause’ screenwriter Stewart Stern dies at 92

MUMBAI: Two-time Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and Emmy-winning television writer Stewart Stern (Rebel Without a Cause, The Last Movie, TV's Sybil) died on 2 February, at the Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington, at age 92 after a battle with cancer.


According to his family, he was “surrounded by the next generation of filmmakers and screenwriters he had mentored and inspired, as well as friends and family who came from all parts of the country for a two-week vigil before his death.”


Over the course of his career, Stern's screenwriting credits included the iconic '50s teen rebellion drama, Rebel Without a Cause as well as a related documentary feature on the late actor, The James Dean Story (1957), 1971's notorious counter-culture indie drama, The Last Movie, The Ugly American starring Marlon Brando, which earned him a Writers Guild Award nomination for Best Written American Drama, Rachel, Rachel starring Joanne Woodward, for which he earned an Oscar nomination (Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium) as well as a WGA nomination for Best Written American Drama.


His other screenwriting credits included Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (1973), The Rack (1956, From a Teleplay by Rod Serling), The Outsider (1961), Thunder in the Sun (1959) and his debut feature film, Teresa, for which he earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Motion Picture Story, shared with Hayes. He also wrote the Oscar-winning short film, Benjy (1951).


“Stewart Stern lived so many lives! He was a great screenwriter, a tireless mentor, a WWII hero, an interlocutor with the primates at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle – and a man possessed of greater generosity of spirit than most anyone I've ever met. He had such access to his feelings, and in his presence you had the same. In so many conversations I can recall having with him I ended up near tears – not in sorrow, but in recognition of the truths he so wisely and gently shared. This is the saddest thing. He was 92 but should have been with us forever,” said WGAW vice president Howard A. Rodman.


On the small screen, Stern also wrote several telefilms, including the acclaimed 1976 miniseries Sybil (From the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber) starring Sally Field, which memorably explored multiple personality disorder, earning Stern an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Special Program – Drama or Comedy – Adaptation, as well as a lead actress Emmy Award for Field and the program (Outstanding Special – Drama or Comedy), as well as the holiday TV movie A Christmas to Remember (1978), which earned Stern a Writers Guild Award for Anthology Adaptation.


During the '50s, Stern also wrote several productions for TV drama anthologies such as Playhouse 90, Goodyear Playhouse and The Gulf Playhouse.


Born on March 22, 1922, Stern was raised in New York City. After graduating from the University of Iowa, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the 106th Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. For his military service, Stern received a Purple Heart, a Bronze Star, and Combat Infantry Badge. According to his family, Stern felt his writing "was always informed by that profound experience and the relations formed with his Army buddies."


A WGAW member since 1951, Stern served on the Guild's Screen Council Branch (1970-72). Stern is survived by his wife, Marilee Stiles Stern.

Latest Reads
31st October: Genuine effort wasted

Rather late in the day, 31stOctober is a film about the Sikh genocide of 1984 in Delhi in the aftermath of assassination of the then prime minister of India Indira Gandhi. She was killed by her security guards, who happened to be Sikh. That assassination, again, is attributed to the anger of the...

Movies Hindi
TV premiere of Daniel Craig's 'Spectre' on 23 October

Movies Now is all geared up to air the television premiere of the Daniel Craig starrer James Bond movie Spectre. With Diwali round the corner, the movie will hit the TV screens on 23 October at 1 pm and a repeat telecast at 9 pm.

Movies Hollywood
Jio MAMI: Royal Stag Barrel joins Star to promote short films

The Jio MAMI 18th Mumbai Film Festival with Star has managed to involve Royal Stag Barrel Select Large Short Films to provide a platform within the short films category.

Movies Hindi
India against obstructing Fawad film; Maharashtra assures 'protection'

Even as PEMRA's ban on Indian content looms, the Indian Government has made it clear that it will not create any impediment for the release of producer-director Karan Johar’s 'Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ starring popular Pakistani actor Fawad Khan, among others.

Movies Hindi
'Thithi' to open Dharmashala fest; to screen 45 features and shorts

A total of 45 features and shorts are to screened at the fifth Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) to be held from 3 to 6 November.

Movies Hindi
New films: The business of a few lakhs

The dull pre-Diwali period has taken its toll. The films released recently as well as last Friday have fallen like nine pins. Some of these have been forced to commit hara-kiri as they would not be able to get playtime at the cinemas in peak period when the flow of star cast films is regular. The...

Movies Hindi
Bollywood supports Govt's Pak policy; pleads for ongoing projects

NEW DELHI: The Film & Television Producers Guild of India Ltd today expressed “genuine concern of all those film producers who have invested heavily in films featuring artistes from across the border.” Even as it expressed unflinching support to the Central Government and solidarity with the...

Movies Hindi
MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D).......Kid stuff

MotuPatlu: King Of Kings (3D) is India’s own homebred animation film featuring characters of the popular Hindi comic strip of the same name that features in Lot Pot magazine.

Movies Hindi
Competitive short film fest to coincide with Risk Development meet

NEW DELHI: A short films competition on the theme of Risk Sensitive Development for Community Resilience will be organised at the Asian Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) 2016 being held here.

Movies Short Films

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories