Waldo Salt Biography (1914-1987)

Born October 18, 1914, in Chicago, IL; died of lung cancer at Cedars- Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, March 7, 1987; son of William Haslem (a business executive and artist) and Winifred (Porter) Salt; married Ambur Dana, 1939 (divorced); married Mary Davenport, 1942 (divorced); married Gladys Schwartz, 1968 (divorced); married Eve Merriam (a poet, playwright, and author), October 22, 1983; children: Jennifer, Deborah.

In the early 1950s Waldo Salt was blacklisted in Hollywood for refusing to testify in Washington before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. He didnot return to writing under his own name and earning film credits until the early 1960s. Although he later won Academy Awards and other honors, he remained bitter over the loss of others' careers and his own ordeal. "We suffered from it, and the country did," he told Contemporary Authors. "The American people have to pay for these little gang wars between politicians who are fighting over how much graft they're going to get."

Birth Details
October 18, 1914
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Famous Works

  • Dialogue director, The Flame and the Arrow, Warner Brothers, 1950.
  • Writings;STAGE
  • Sandhog (folk opera), Phoenix Theatre, New York City, 1954.
  • (adaptor, with Arthur Birnkrant) Davey Jones's Locker (marionette musical), Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1959, and presented annually at the Bil Baird Theatre, New York City, 1966--.
  • Writings;FILM
  • (Adaptor) The Shopworn Angel, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1938.
  • (uncredited co-writer) The Philadelphia Story, MGM, 1940.
  • (with John McClain) The Wild Man of Borneo, MGM, 1941.
  • Tonight We Raid Calais, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1943.
  • (with George Corey and Louis Solomon) Mr. Winkle Goes to War (also knownas Arms and the Woman), Columbia, 1944.
  • (also lyricist) Rachel and the Stranger, RKO, 1948.
  • The Flame and the Arrow, Warner Brothers, 1950.
  • (additional dialogue) M, Columbia, 1951.
  • (with Karl Tunberg) Taras Bulba, United Artists, 1962.
  • (with Larry Markes and Michael Morris) Wild and Wonderful, Universal, 1964.
  • (with Elliott Arnold) Flight from Ashiya, United Artists, 1964.
  • Midnight Cowboy, United Artists, 1969.
  • The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, MGM, 1971.
  • (with Norman Wexler) Serpico, Paramount, 1972.
  • The Day of the Locust, Warner Brothers, 1975.
  • (with Nancy Dowd and Robert C. Jones) Coming Home, United Artists, 1978.
  • Also wrote screenplays and television scripts under various pseudonyms, 1951-62.

Further Reference


  • Contemporary Authors, Vol. 111, Gale, 1984.
  • New York Times, March 9, 1987.
  • Washington Post, March 10, 1987.

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