I. A. L. Diamond
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I. A. L. Diamond (born Ițec (Itzek) Domnici; June 27, 1920 – April 21, 1988) was a Moldovan–American screenwriter, best known for his collaborations with
Billy Wilder Billy Wilder (; ; born Samuel Wilder; June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-American filmmaker. His career in Hollywood spanned five decades, and he is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hol ...
.


Life and career

Diamond was born in
Ungheni Ungheni () is a municipality in Moldova. With a population of 35,157, it is the seventh largest town in Moldova and the seat of Ungheni District. There is a bridge across the Prut and a border checkpoint to Romania. There is another border ...
,
Iași County Iași County () is a county (județ) of Romania, in Western Moldavia, with the administrative seat at Iași. It is the most populous county in Romania, after the Municipality of Bucharest (which has the same administrative level as that of a coun ...
,
Bessarabia Bessarabia (; Gagauz: ''Besarabiya''; Romanian: ''Basarabia''; Ukrainian: ''Бессара́бія'') is a historical region in Eastern Europe, bounded by the Dniester river on the east and the Prut river on the west. About two thirds o ...
,
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country located at the crossroads of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It borders Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Moldova to the east, and ...
, i.e. present day
Moldova Moldova ( , ; ), officially the Republic of Moldova ( ro, Republica Moldova), is a Landlocked country, landlocked country in Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south. The List of states ...
. He emigrated with his mother and sister, following his father to the Crown Heights area of
Brooklyn Brooklyn () is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York. Kings County is the most populous county in the State of New York, and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, beh ...
in the United States. There, he studied at the Boy's High School, showing ability in mathematics, competing in the state Mathematics Olympiads in 1936–37 and winning several medals therein. Diamond was referred to as "Iz" in Hollywood, and was known to quip that his initials stood for "Interscholastic Algebra League", a prize he also won while attending Boys' High School. Diamond completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia in 1941. There he studied journalism, publishing in the ''
Columbia Daily Spectator The ''Columbia Daily Spectator'' (known colloquially as the ''Spec'') is the student newspaper of Columbia University. Founded in 1877, it is the oldest continuously operating college news daily in the nation after '' The Harvard Crimson'', and ha ...
'' under the pseudonym "I. A. L. Diamond". He was editor of the humor magazine ''
Jester of Columbia The ''Jester of Columbia'', or simply the ''Jester'', is a humor magazine at Columbia University in New York City. Founded on April Fool's Day, 1901, it is one of the oldest such publications in the United States. Printed continuously at least th ...
'' and a member of the
Philolexian Society The Philolexian Society of Columbia University is one of the oldest college literary and debate societies in the United States, and the oldest student group at Columbia. Founded in 1802, the Society aims to "improve its members in Oratory, Compo ...
. He became the only person to single-handedly write four consecutive productions of the annual revue, the
Varsity Show The Varsity Show is one of the oldest traditions at Columbia University and its oldest performing arts presentation. Founded in 1894 as a fundraiser for the university's fledgling athletic teams, the Varsity Show now draws together the entire Colu ...
and a spare should they need one. After graduating, he abandoned the plan to pursue his master's in engineering at Columbia and accepted a short-term contract in Hollywood. A succession of limited-term contracts ensued, notably at Paramount, where Diamond worked on projects without receiving a writing credit. He moved to
Universal Pictures Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, or simply Universal; common metonym: Uni, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an Americ ...
, where he made his first film ''Murder in the Blue Room''. It was a year later at Warner Bros., that he achieved his first real success and consequent recognition with ''Never Say Goodbye''. He worked at
20th Century Fox 20th Century Studios, Inc. (previously known as 20th Century Fox) is an American film production company headquartered at the Fox Studio Lot in the Century City area of Los Angeles. As of 2019, it serves as a film production arm of Walt Disn ...
for four years. In 1957, he began collaborating with
Billy Wilder Billy Wilder (; ; born Samuel Wilder; June 22, 1906 – March 27, 2002) was an Austrian-American filmmaker. His career in Hollywood spanned five decades, and he is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Classic Hol ...
, working on the film '' Love in the Afternoon''. They later wrote the classic films, ''
Some Like It Hot ''Some Like It Hot'' is a 1959 American crime comedy film directed, produced and co-written by Billy Wilder. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, with George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, Grace Lee Whitney ...
'', ''
The Apartment ''The Apartment'' is a 1960 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and produced by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond. It stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, D ...
'' (which won an
Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best screenplay not based upon previously published material. It was created in 1940 as a separate writing award from the Academy Award for Best Story. Beginning with the ...
), ''
One, Two, Three ''One, Two, Three'' is a 1961 American political comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and written by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond. It is based on the 1929 Hungarian one-act play ''Egy, kettő, három'' by Ferenc Molnár, with a "plot borrowed p ...
'', ''
Irma la Douce ''Irma la Douce'' (, "Irma the Sweet") is a 1963 American romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond, based on the 1956 French stage musical of the same name by Marguerite Monnot and Alex ...
'', ''
Kiss Me, Stupid ''Kiss Me, Stupid'' is a 1964 American sex comedy film produced and directed by Billy Wilder and starring Dean Martin, Kim Novak, and Ray Walston. The screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on the play ''L'ora della fantasia'' (''Th ...
'' and ''
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes ''The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes'' is a 1970 DeLuxe Color film in Panavision written and produced by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond, and directed by Wilder. The film offers an affectionate, slightly parodic look at Sherlock Holmes, ...
''. In 1969, Diamond wrote the play '' Cactus Flower'' and the screenplay for the
film adaptation A film adaptation is the transfer of a work or story, in whole or in part, to a feature film. Although often considered a type of derivative work, film adaptation has been conceptualized recently by academic scholars such as Robert Stam as a dia ...
. In total, Diamond and Wilder wrote the script for twelve films. Some featured characters engaging in an endless but friendly squabbling, such as Joe and Jerry in ''Some Like it Hot'' and Holmes and Watson in ''The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes''. Diamond's widow claims that these characters were based on her husband's relationship with Wilder. In 1980, Diamond and Wilder received the Writers Guild of America's Laurel Award for career achievement in screenwriting. Wilder had previously received the Laurel Award in 1957 for his partnership with
Charles Brackett Charles William Brackett (November 26, 1892 – March 9, 1969) was an American screenwriter and film producer. He collaborated with Billy Wilder on sixteen films. Life and career Brackett was born in Saratoga Springs, New York, the son of ...
. Diamond died of
multiple myeloma Multiple myeloma (MM), also known as plasma cell myeloma and simply myeloma, is a cancer of plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that normally produces antibodies. Often, no symptoms are noticed initially. As it progresses, bone pain, anem ...
on April 21, 1988.


Filmography


As writer

* '' Buddy Buddy'' (1981) * ''
Fedora A fedora () is a hat with a soft brim and indented crown.Kilgour, Ruth Edwards (1958). ''A Pageant of Hats Ancient and Modern''. R. M. McBride Company. It is typically creased lengthwise down the crown and "pinched" near the front on both sides ...
'' (1978) * ''
The Front Page ''The Front Page'' is a Broadway comedy about newspaper reporters on the police beat. Written by former Chicago reporters Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, it was first produced in 1928 and has been adapted for the cinema several times. Plot ...
'' (1974) * ''
Avanti! ''Avanti!'' is a 1972 American/Italian international co-production comedy film produced and directed by Billy Wilder, and starring Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills. The screenplay by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond is based on Samuel A. Taylor's play, ...
'' (1972) * ''
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes ''The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes'' is a 1970 DeLuxe Color film in Panavision written and produced by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond, and directed by Wilder. The film offers an affectionate, slightly parodic look at Sherlock Holmes, ...
'' (1970) * '' Cactus Flower'' (1969) * ''
The Fortune Cookie ''The Fortune Cookie'' (alternative UK title: ''Meet Whiplash Willie'') is a 1966 American black comedy film directed, produced and co-written by Billy Wilder. It was the first film in which Jack Lemmon collaborated with Walter Matthau. Matthau ...
'' (1966) * ''
Kiss Me, Stupid ''Kiss Me, Stupid'' is a 1964 American sex comedy film produced and directed by Billy Wilder and starring Dean Martin, Kim Novak, and Ray Walston. The screenplay by Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond is based on the play ''L'ora della fantasia'' (''Th ...
'' (1964) * ''
Irma la Douce ''Irma la Douce'' (, "Irma the Sweet") is a 1963 American romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond, based on the 1956 French stage musical of the same name by Marguerite Monnot and Alex ...
'' (1963) * ''
One, Two, Three ''One, Two, Three'' is a 1961 American political comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and written by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond. It is based on the 1929 Hungarian one-act play ''Egy, kettő, három'' by Ferenc Molnár, with a "plot borrowed p ...
'' (1961) * ''
The Apartment ''The Apartment'' is a 1960 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and produced by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond. It stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, D ...
'' (1960) * ''
Some Like It Hot ''Some Like It Hot'' is a 1959 American crime comedy film directed, produced and co-written by Billy Wilder. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, with George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, Grace Lee Whitney ...
'' (1959) (screenplay) * '' Merry Andrew'' (1958) * '' Love in the Afternoon'' (1957) * '' That Certain Feeling'' (1956) * '' Something for the Birds'' (1952) * '' Monkey Business'' (1952) * '' Let's Make It Legal'' (1951) * '' Love Nest'' (1951) * ''
It's a Great Feeling ''It's a Great Feeling'' is a 1949 American Technicolor musical comedy film starring Doris Day, Jack Carson, and Dennis Morgan in a parody of what goes on behind the scenes in Hollywood movie making. The screenplay by Jack Rose and Mel Shavel ...
'' (1949) (story) * '' The Girl from Jones Beach'' (1949) * '' Two Guys from Texas'' (1948) * ''
Romance on the High Seas ''Romance on the High Seas'' (released in the United Kingdom as ''It's Magic'') is a 1948 American musical romantic comedy film directed by Michael Curtiz, and starred Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Don DeFore and Doris Day in her film debut. Busby ...
'' (1948) (additional dialogue) * '' Always Together'' (1948) * '' Love and Learn'' (1947) * '' Never Say Goodbye'' (1946) * ''
Two Guys from Milwaukee ''Two Guys from Milwaukee'' (UK title: ''Royal Flush'') is a 1946 American comedy film directed by David Butler and starring Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, and Joan Leslie. It was distributed by Warner Bros. The film is about a Balkan prince who ...
'' (1946) * '' Murder in the Blue Room'' (1944)


As associate producer

* ''Fedora'' (1978) * ''The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes'' (1970) * ''The Fortune Cookie'' (1966) * ''Kiss Me, Stupid'' (1964) * ''Irma la Douce'' (1963) * ''One, Two, Three'' (1961) * ''The Apartment'' (1960) * ''Some Like It Hot'' (1959)


Award and honors


Academy Awards


Golden Globe Awards


WGA Awards

*1957: '' Love in the Afternoon'' – American Comedy *1959: ''
Some Like It Hot ''Some Like It Hot'' is a 1959 American crime comedy film directed, produced and co-written by Billy Wilder. It stars Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, with George Raft, Pat O'Brien, Joe E. Brown, Joan Shawlee, Grace Lee Whitney ...
'' – American Comedy *1960: ''
The Apartment ''The Apartment'' is a 1960 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and produced by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond. It stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Ray Walston, Jack Kruschen, D ...
'' – American Comedy *1961: ''
One, Two, Three ''One, Two, Three'' is a 1961 American political comedy film directed by Billy Wilder and written by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond. It is based on the 1929 Hungarian one-act play ''Egy, kettő, három'' by Ferenc Molnár, with a "plot borrowed p ...
'' – American Comedy *1963: ''
Irma la Douce ''Irma la Douce'' (, "Irma the Sweet") is a 1963 American romantic comedy film directed by Billy Wilder from a screenplay he co-wrote with I. A. L. Diamond, based on the 1956 French stage musical of the same name by Marguerite Monnot and Alex ...
'' – American Comedy *1966: ''
The Fortune Cookie ''The Fortune Cookie'' (alternative UK title: ''Meet Whiplash Willie'') is a 1966 American black comedy film directed, produced and co-written by Billy Wilder. It was the first film in which Jack Lemmon collaborated with Walter Matthau. Matthau ...
'' – American Comedy *1969: '' Cactus Flower'' – Adapted Screenplay (Comedy) *1970: ''
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes ''The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes'' is a 1970 DeLuxe Color film in Panavision written and produced by Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond, and directed by Wilder. The film offers an affectionate, slightly parodic look at Sherlock Holmes, ...
'' – Original Screenplay (Comedy) *1972: ''
Avanti! ''Avanti!'' is a 1972 American/Italian international co-production comedy film produced and directed by Billy Wilder, and starring Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills. The screenplay by Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond is based on Samuel A. Taylor's play, ...
'' – Adapted Screenplay (Comedy) *1974: ''
The Front Page ''The Front Page'' is a Broadway comedy about newspaper reporters on the police beat. Written by former Chicago reporters Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, it was first produced in 1928 and has been adapted for the cinema several times. Plot ...
'' – Adapted Screenplay (Comedy) *1980: Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Diamond, I. A. L. 1920 births 1988 deaths Best Original Screenplay Academy Award winners Romanian Jews Romanian emigrants to the United States American male screenwriters Jewish American writers Columbia College (New York) alumni People from Ungheni Boys High School (Brooklyn) alumni Screenwriters from New York (state) People from Crown Heights, Brooklyn Deaths from multiple myeloma Deaths from cancer in California 20th-century American male writers 20th-century American screenwriters 20th-century American Jews