Tuesday, November 13, 2007

He Is Survived by Dogbert, Wally, Alice, and Pointy-Haired Boss

Good morning! Some director you've never heard of but would like to pretend you have died last night!

Delbert Mann, who transformed Paddy Chayefsky's classic teleplays "Marty" and "The Bachelor Party" into big-screen triumphs and helped bring TV techniques to the film world, died Sunday. He was 87. Mann died of pneumonia at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his son Fred Mann said Monday. Mann's 1955 feature version of "Marty" won four Oscars: best picture and director, best actor for Ernest Borgnine and best screenplay for Chayefsky. The low-budget film with mostly little-known actors told the stark, poignant story of Borgnine's 34-year-old Brooklyn butcher who felt he was too ugly to find love. His life is changed when he meets an equally shy but sweet woman played by Betsy Blair.
Fun fact: Mann also directed a prime-time TV movie called "Heidi," that NBC decided to air on November 15, 1968. The older football fans reading this just shuddered. The younger, less informed football fans are encouraged to click here.


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