Scriptwriter Ernest Lehman dies at 89

July 6, 2005 at 10:44 AM
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LOS ANGELES, July 6 (UPI) -- Ernest Lehman, described as one of the greatest screenwriters of Hollywood's golden age, died in Los Angeles after a lengthy illness. He was 89.

Lehman, whose credits include "North by Northwest," "Virginia Woolf," "West Side Story" and "Sabrina," died Saturday at the UCLA Medical Center.

"His unforgettable contributions to the craft of screenwriting helped define what we've come to know as American film," Writers Guild of America, West, President Daniel Petrie Jr. told the Los Angeles Times.

"Ernie Lehman was one of the last and greatest screenwriters of Hollywood's golden age," said Mel Shavelson, a writer and friend who worked with Lehman as co-writer of several Academy Award telecasts.

Lehman was nominated six times for Oscars as a writer and producer, but never won.

He became the first screenwriter given the lifetime achievement award, an honor the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed in 2001.

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