S. J. Perelman

Sidney Joseph Perelman (birth name: Simeon Joseph Perelman, born 1 February 1904 in Brooklyn, † 17 October 1979 in New York City ) was an American humorist, novelist and screenwriter, who wrote the screenplay for the film 80 Days world (1956 ) won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay, the New York Film Critics Circle Award ( NYFCC Award) won for best screenplay and the price of the Writers Guild of America (WGA Award) for Best American comedy.


After schooling Perelman studied at Brown University in Rhode Iceland and in 1925 employees of various magazines after graduation. In 1929 he published with Dawn Ginsbergh 's Revenge his first book, with whom he had nationwide success. In the same year he married the writer Laura Weinstein, a sister of the writer Nathanael West, and was married to her until her death on 10 April 1970.

Two years later he went to Hollywood and began to write, such as the Marx Brothers scripts and templates for the local film industry. Throughout his career, he created the templates for 17 films and television series. His publications were often published after 1931 first in the New Yorker magazine in advance and therefore contributed to its popularity. Together with Ogden Nash and the composer Kurt Weill, he created the musical One Touch of Venus, which was premiered on October 7, 1943 at the Imperial Theatre.

His books are characterized by their linguistic dexterity and subtlety. Among his most famous works Crazy Like A Fox ( 1944), Westward Ha! or, Around the World in 80 Clichés (1948 ), The Swiss Family Perelman (1950 ) and The Road to Miltown, or, Under the Spreading Atrophy (1957).

His greatest success as a screenwriter, he had with the screenplay for the film in 80 days around the world (1956 ) based on the novel Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne, the directors Michael Anderson and John Farrow with David Niven, Cantinflas and Shirley MacLaine staged in the lead roles. For this he won with James Poe and director Farrow 1957 Oscar for best adapted screenplay and the WGA Award for Best American comedy and also best used alone for the NYFCC Award for the screenplay.

A first collection of his best stories appeared in 1958 under the title The Most of SJ Perelman.

Filmography (selection)


Background literature

  • Dorothy Herrmann: S. J. Perelman. A Life, 1986

External links and sources

  • SJ Perelman at the Internet Movie Database (English)
  • Entry on Open Library
  • Una McGovern (Ed.): Chambers Biographical Dictionary, Edinburgh 2002, pp. 1186, ISBN 0 550 10051 2
  • Oscar winner
  • Screenwriter
  • Author
  • Americans
  • Born in 1904
  • Died in 1979
  • Man