Ernest Lehman

Ernest Lehman ( born December 8, 1915 in New York City; † July 2, 2005 in Los Angeles ) was an American screenwriter. He wrote the screenplay templates (eg North by Northwest ) for numerous classic films.


Ernest Lehman grew up as the child of a wealthy family on Long Iceland. However, the global economic crisis reduced the family fortune. Lehman completed a study on the College of the City of New York and began to write as a freelance writer. As he looked at this form of employment as unsafe, he worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency. He used the experiences so gained as the basis for his novel My destiny in your hands.

Lehman wrote numerous short stories and novellas for magazines such as Colliers, Redbook and Cosmopolitan. He attracted the attention of Hollywood's up and was hired mid-1950s from the studio Paramount Pictures as an author. His first film The schemers was a success. He then wrote the screenplay for Sabrina, who also became a box office success.

As one of the few Lehman was convinced that a film version of Who 's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? to create. He convinced studio boss Jack L. Warner of it, and the final film was highly praised by critics and was nominated for several Oscars, including for Best Screenplay.

Lehman's only directorial effort was the 1972 film of the novel turned Portnoy 's Complaint. In 1979, he finished his career as a screenwriter, with some exceptions for television work.

From 1983 to 1985 was president of Lehman Writers' Association Writers Guild of America.

On July 2, 2005 Lehman died after a long illness at UCLA Medical Center.


Lehman was married in first marriage of 1942-1994 until her death with Jacqueline, that deriving two children. He eventually married Laurie, with whom he became father again at the age of 86 years.


Lehman was nominated six times for an Oscar and finally received in 2001 an honorary Oscar for his life's work - the first screenwriter.