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Jerry Wald

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Years active  1932–1962
Name  Jerry Wald

Role  Screenwriter
Siblings  Malvin Wald
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Full Name  Jerome Irving Wald
Born  September 16, 1911 (1911-09-16) Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Occupation  Screenwriter; motion picture/radio program producer
Died  July 13, 1962, Beverly Hills, California, United States
Spouse  Constance M. Polan (m. 1941–1962)
Children  Jane Wald, Andrew Wald, Robbie Wald
Movies  Mildred Pierce, The Roaring Twenties, Peyton Place, An Affair to Remember, Let's Make Love
Similar People  Norman Krasna, Ranald MacDougall, Hal Kanter, Vincent Sherman, Delmer Daves

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Jerry Wald (September 16, 1911 – July 13, 1962) was an American screenwriter and a producer of films and radio programs.


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Life and career

Born Jerome Irving Wald to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, he had a brother and sons who were active in show business. He began writing a radio column for the New York Evening Graphic, while studying at New York University. This led to him producing several Rambling 'Round Radio Row featurettes for Vitaphone, Warner Brothers' short subject division (1932–33).

He wrote and produced numerous films between the 1930s and 1960s, including Stars Over Broadway (1935), The Roaring Twenties (1939), On Your Toes (1939, in collaboration with playwright Lawrence Riley), They Drive by Night (1940), Across the Pacific (1942), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Destination Tokyo (1943), Mildred Pierce (1945), Johnny Belinda (1948), Key Largo (1948), Always Leave Them Laughing (1949), The Glass Menagerie (1950), and Perfect Strangers (1950).1947 : La Possédée (Possessed)

Wald and Norman Krasna formed Wald/Krasna Productions to release films through RKO Radio Pictures, including Two Tickets to Broadway (1951), The Blue Veil (1951), Behave Yourself! (1952), The Lusty Men (1952), and Clash by Night (1953). Krasna and Wald dissolved their partnership because of interference from Howard Hughes, then head of RKO, in their productions. Wald went on to produce Peyton Place (1957), An Affair to Remember (1957), In Love and War (1958), The Sound and the Fury (1959), Sons and Lovers (1960), Return to Peyton Place (1961), and Wild in the Country (1961).

He also produced the Academy Awards telecast twice, the ceremonies for 1957 and 1958. He received four Academy Award nominations as producer of the following nominees for Best Picture: Mildred Pierce, Johnny Belinda, Peyton Place and Sons and Lovers. Although he never won a competitive Academy Award, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1949.

Wald is often cited as the real-life inspiration for the character Sammy Glick in the novel What Makes Sammy Run by Budd Schulberg.

Jerry Wald, was a very close friend to Joan Crawford in the forties, offering her many parts including the title role in Mildred Pierce, which he produced. He convinced director Michael Curtiz that she would succeed in the role, which brought her the Oscar for Best Actress in 1946. Jerry Wald not only produced Mildred Pierce, but also Humoresque (1946), considered one of the best performances of Crawford's career, Across the Pacific (1942), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Possessed(1947), Flamingo road (1949), The damned don't cry (1950)'." After her career at Warner's fizzled out slowly even though she wished to remain with Warner's, after years of reinventing herself, she bought out her contract. Afterwards, she bought the rights to a screenplay called Sudden Fear which brought her a third Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in 1953.

Jerry Wald remains as a great producer and after the movies he made with Joan Crawford, he kept going made very popular films such as the Eddy Duchin story.


Wald married Constance Emily "Connie" Polan on December 25, 1941; the couple had two sons: Andrew and Robert.


Wald died, aged 50, at his home in Beverly Hills, California from a heart attack. His widow, Connie Wald (born August 13, 1916 – died November 10, 2012), was a California socialite and hostess; she was survived by her two sons and two grandchildren.


Jerry Wald Wikipedia