The Info List - Robert E. Sherwood

Robert Emmet
Robert Emmet
Sherwood (April 4, 1896 – November 14, 1955) was an American playwright, editor, and screenwriter.


1 Early life and family 2 Writing career 3 Death and legacy 4 Plays 5 Nonfiction 6 References 7 External links

Early life and family[edit] Born in 1896 in New Rochelle, New York, Robert was a son of Arthur Murray Sherwood, a rich stockbroker, and his wife, the former Rosina Emmet, a highly accomplished illustrator and portrait painter known as Rosina E. Sherwood. He was a great-great-grandson of the former New York State Attorney General Thomas Addis Emmet
Thomas Addis Emmet
and a great-grandnephew of the Irish nationalist Robert Emmet, who was executed for high treason after leading the Irish rebellion of 1803, one of a series of attempts to dislodge British rule in Ireland, in 1803. His relatives also included three other notable American portrait artists: his aunts, Lydia Field Emmet
Lydia Field Emmet
and Jane Emmet de Glehn, and his first cousin, once removed, Ellen Emmet Rand. Sherwood was educated at Fay School,[1] Milton Academy and then Harvard University. He fought with the Royal Highlanders of Canada, CEF in Europe during World War I
World War I
and was wounded. After his return to the United States, he began working as a movie critic for such magazines as Life and Vanity Fair. Sherwood's career as a critic in the 1920s is discussed in the 2009 documentary For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism. In that film Time critic Richard Schickel discusses, among other topics, how Sherwood was the first New York critic invited to Hollywood by cross-country train to meet the stars and directors. Writing career[edit] Sherwood was one of the original members of the Algonquin Round Table. He was close friends with Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker
and Robert Benchley, who were on the staff of Vanity Fair with Sherwood when the Round Table began meeting in 1919. Author Edna Ferber
Edna Ferber
was also a good friend. Sherwood stood 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall. Dorothy Parker, who was 5 feet 4 inches (1.63 m), once commented that when she, Sherwood, and Robert Benchley
Robert Benchley
(6 feet (1.8 m)) walked down the street together, they resembled "a walking pipe organ." When asked at a party how long he had known Sherwood, Benchley stood on a chair, raised his hand to the ceiling, and said, "I knew Bob Sherwood back when he was only this tall."[2] In 1949, comedian Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
also commented about Sherwood's height during a filmed radio broadcast of the quiz show You Bet Your Life. Groucho, who hosted the popular series, interviewed in one episode American football player Howard Scala, a member of the NFL's Green Bay Packers. Impressed by Scala's own considerable height, Marx shared the following anecdote with the show's audience:

Reminds me of Bob Sherwood, the playwright, he's an old friend of mine; and he's six-foot-five and very thin. I said to him one day, 'Bob, what do you say to people when they ask you how the weather is up there?' He said, 'I spit in their eye and tell ‘em it's raining.'[3][4]

Sherwood's first Broadway play, The Road to Rome (1927), a comedy concerning Hannibal's botched invasion of Rome, introduced one of his favorite themes: the futility of war. Many of his later dramatic works employed variations of that motif, including Idiot's Delight (1936), which won Sherwood the first of four Pulitzer Prizes. According to legend, he once admitted to the gossip columnist Lucius Beebe, “The trouble with me is that I start with a big message and end up with nothing but good entertainment.”[5] Sherwood's Broadway success soon attracted the attention of Hollywood; he began writing for the silver screen in 1926. While some of his work went uncredited, his films included many adaptations of his plays. He also collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock
Alfred Hitchcock
and Joan Harrison in writing the screenplay for Rebecca (1940). With Europe in the midst of World War II, Sherwood set aside his anti-war stance to support the fight against the Third Reich. His 1940 play about the Soviet Union's invasion of Finland, There Shall Be No Night, was produced by the Playwright's Company that he co-founded and starred Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, and Montgomery Clift. Katharine Cornell produced and starred in a 1957 TV adaptation on NBC.[6] Sherwood publicly ridiculed isolationist Charles Lindbergh
Charles Lindbergh
as a "Nazi with a Nazi's Olympian contempt for all democratic processes".[7] During this period Sherwood also served as a speechwriter for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He recounted the experience in his book Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History,[8] which won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
and a 1949 Bancroft Prize.[9] Sherwood is credited with originating the phrase that eventually evolved to "arsenal of democracy", a frequent catchphrase in Roosevelt's wartime speeches. Sherwood was quoted on May 12, 1940, by The New York Times, "This country is already, in effect, an arsenal for the democratic Allies."[10] After serving as Director of the Office of War Information from 1943 until the conclusion of the war, he returned to dramatic writing with the movie The Best Years of Our Lives, directed by William Wyler. The 1946 film, which explores changes in the lives of three servicemen after they return home from war, earned Sherwood an Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Screenplay.[11] Death and legacy[edit] Sherwood died of a heart attack in New York City
New York City
in 1955. A production of his final work, Small War on Murray Hill, debuted on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre
Ethel Barrymore Theatre
on January 3, 1957.[12] Nearly four decades later, Sherwood was portrayed by actor Nick Cassavetes
Nick Cassavetes
in Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, a 1994 feature film about the Algonquin Round Table.[13] Plays[edit]

The Road to Rome (1927) The Love Nest (1927) The Queen's Husband (1928); adapted into the 1931 film The Royal Bed. Waterloo Bridge (1930) - adapted into two American films and two Brazilian soap-operas This is New York (1930); adapted into the 1932 film Two Kinds of Women. Reunion in Vienna (1931); adapted into a 1933 film. Acropolis (1933) The Petrified Forest
The Petrified Forest
(1935) - adapted into 1936 film with Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart. Tovarich (1935) - from a French comedy by Jacques Deval - adapted into a 1937 film, and a 1963 musical with Vivien Leigh and Jean Pierre Aumont. Idiot's Delight (1936) Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
- adapted into 1939 film. Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938) Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
- adapted into a 1940 film. There Shall Be No Night (1940) Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for Drama. The Rugged Path (1945) starring Spencer Tracy Miss Liberty
Miss Liberty
(1949 book for Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin
musical) Small War on Murray Hill (1957; produced posthumously)


Sherwood, Robert E. (1948). Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History (First ed.). New York: Harper. OCLC 908375.  1949 Pulitzer Prize (Biography) Sherwood, Robert E. (1923). The Best Moving Pictures of 1922-1923, Also Who's Who in the Movies and the Yearbook of the American Screen (First ed.). Boston: Small, Maynard & Company. 


^ Fischer, H.D. (2002). Complete Biographical Encyclopedia of Pulitzer Prize Winners 1917 - 2000: Journalists, writers and composers on their way to the coveted awards. De Gruyter. p. 221. ISBN 9783110955743. Retrieved 2015-05-15.  ^ Wallace, D. Capital of the World: A Portrait of New York City
New York City
in the Roaring Twenties. Lyons Press (2011), p. 175. ISBN 0762770104. ^ " You Bet Your Life
You Bet Your Life
#49-13 Unaired test film (Secret word 'Name', never aired on TV)", episode of You Bet Your Life
You Bet Your Life
originally broadcast on CBS Radio on December 28, 1949. Full episode available for viewing on YouTube, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc., Mountain View, California. Retrieved August 18, 2017. ^ Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
in his anecdote appreciably understated Sherwood's true height, which more reliable sources cite was between six feet seven inches and six feet eight inches. ^ Meserve, Walter J. (1970). Robert E. Sherwood: Reluctant Moralist. New York: Pegasus. p. 14.  ^ "The Paley Center for Media". paleycenter.org. Retrieved 2015-05-15.  ^ http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive/pdf?res=9407E4DD1F3CE73ABC4A52DFB467838B659EDE ^ archive.org ^ Alonso, HH. Robert E. Sherwood: The Playwright
in Peace and War. Univ. of Mass. Press (2007), pp. 88-91. ISBN 978-1-55849-619-4 ^ Gould, Jack (May 12, 1940). The Broadway Stage Has Its First War Play. The New York Times. Quoting Robert Emmet
Robert Emmet
Sherwood, "this country is already, in effect, an arsenal for the democratic Allies." ^ Alonso (2007), p.143. ^ Small War on Murray Hill by Robert E. Sherwood, Playbill, January 3–12, 1957, cast and production details; Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York, New York. Retrieved August 18, 2017. ^ " Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle
Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle
(1994)", overview with synopsis as well as cast and crew listings, Turner Classic Movies
Turner Classic Movies
(TCM), Turner Broadcasting System, a subsidiary of Time Warner, Inc., New York, New York. Retrieved August 18, 2017.

External links[edit]

Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
papers, 1917-1968. Houghton Library, Harvard University Works by Robert Emmet
Robert Emmet
Sherwood at Faded Page (Canada) 13527 Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
on IMDb Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
at Find a Grave

v t e

Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize
for Drama: Authors

Jesse Lynch Williams (1918) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1920) Zona Gale
Zona Gale
(1921) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1922) Owen Davis
Owen Davis
(1923) Hatcher Hughes (1924) Sidney Howard
Sidney Howard
(1925) George Kelly (1926) Paul Green (1927) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1928) Elmer Rice
Elmer Rice
(1929) Marc Connelly
Marc Connelly
(1930) Susan Glaspell
Susan Glaspell
(1931) George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind and Ira Gershwin
Ira Gershwin
(1932) Maxwell Anderson
Maxwell Anderson
(1933) Sidney Kingsley
Sidney Kingsley
(1934) Zoe Akins
Zoe Akins
(1935) Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
(1936) Moss Hart
Moss Hart
and George S. Kaufman
George S. Kaufman
(1937) Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1938) Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
(1939) William Saroyan
William Saroyan
(1940) Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
(1941) Thornton Wilder
Thornton Wilder
(1943) Mary Chase (1945) Russel Crouse and Howard Lindsay (1946) Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
(1948) Arthur Miller
Arthur Miller
(1949) Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II
and Joshua Logan (1950) Joseph Kramm (1952) William Inge
William Inge
(1953) John Patrick (1954) Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
(1955) Albert Hackett
Albert Hackett
and Frances Goodrich (1956) Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
(1957) Ketti Frings (1958) Archibald MacLeish
Archibald MacLeish
(1959) Jerome Weidman, George Abbott, Jerry Bock
Jerry Bock
and Sheldon Harnick
Sheldon Harnick
(1960) Tad Mosel
Tad Mosel
(1961) Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser
and Abe Burrows
Abe Burrows
(1962) Frank D. Gilroy (1965) Edward Albee
Edward Albee
(1967) Howard Sackler (1969) Charles Gordone (1970) Paul Zindel
Paul Zindel
(1971) Jason Miller (1973) Edward Albee
Edward Albee
(1975) Michael Bennett, Nicholas Dante, James Kirkwood Jr., Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban (1976) Michael Cristofer
Michael Cristofer
(1977) Donald L. Coburn (1978) Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard
(1979) Lanford Wilson
Lanford Wilson
(1980) Beth Henley (1981) Charles Fuller (1982) Marsha Norman
Marsha Norman
(1983) David Mamet
David Mamet
(1984) James Lapine
James Lapine
and Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
(1985) August Wilson
August Wilson
(1987) Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
(1988) Wendy Wasserstein
Wendy Wasserstein
(1989) August Wilson
August Wilson
(1990) Neil Simon
Neil Simon
(1991) Robert Schenkkan
Robert Schenkkan
(1992) Tony Kushner
Tony Kushner
(1993) Edward Albee
Edward Albee
(1994) Horton Foote (1995) Jonathan Larson (1996) Paula Vogel
Paula Vogel
(1998) Margaret Edson (1999) Donald Margulies
Donald Margulies
(2000) David Auburn (2001) Suzan-Lori Parks
Suzan-Lori Parks
(2002) Nilo Cruz
Nilo Cruz
(2003) Doug Wright (2004) John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley
(2005) David Lindsay-Abaire (2007) Tracy Letts
Tracy Letts
(2008) Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage
(2009) Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (2010) Bruce Norris (2011) Quiara Alegría Hudes (2012) Ayad Akhtar
Ayad Akhtar
(2013) Annie Baker
Annie Baker
(2014) Stephen Adly Guirgis (2015) Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda
(2016) Lynn Nottage
Lynn Nottage

v t e

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography
Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

Harvey Cushing
Harvey Cushing
(1926) Emory Holloway (1927) Charles Edward Russell
Charles Edward Russell
(1928) Burton J. Hendrick (1929) Marquis James
Marquis James
(1930) Henry James (1931) Henry F. Pringle (1932) Allan Nevins
Allan Nevins
(1933) Tyler Dennett (1934) Douglas S. Freeman
Douglas S. Freeman
(1935) Ralph Barton Perry (1936) Allan Nevins
Allan Nevins
(1937) Odell Shepard/ Marquis James
Marquis James
(1938) Carl Van Doren (1939) Ray Stannard Baker
Ray Stannard Baker
(1940) Ola Elizabeth Winslow (1941) Forrest Wilson (1942) Samuel Eliot Morison
Samuel Eliot Morison
(1943) Carleton Mabee (1944) Russel Blaine Nye (1945) Linnie Marsh Wolfe (1946) William Allen White
William Allen White
(1947) Margaret Clapp
Margaret Clapp
(1948) Robert E. Sherwood
Robert E. Sherwood
(1949) Samuel Flagg Bemis (1950)

Complete list (1917–1925) (1926–1950) (1951–1975) (1976–2000) (2001–2025)

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Adapted Screenplay


Benjamin Glazer (1928) Hanns Kräly (1929) Frances Marion
Frances Marion
(1930) Howard Estabrook
Howard Estabrook
(1931) Edwin J. Burke (1932) Victor Heerman
Victor Heerman
and Sarah Y. Mason
Sarah Y. Mason
(1933) Robert Riskin
Robert Riskin
(1934) Dudley Nichols (1935) Pierre Collings
Pierre Collings
and Sheridan Gibney (1936) Heinz Herald, Geza Herczeg, and Norman Reilly Raine
Norman Reilly Raine
(1937) Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Arthur Lewis, W. P. Lipscomb, and George Bernard Shaw (1938) Sidney Howard
Sidney Howard
(1939) Donald Ogden Stewart
Donald Ogden Stewart
(1940) Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller (1941) George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, and Arthur Wimperis (1942) Philip G. Epstein, Julius J. Epstein, and Howard E. Koch (1943) Frank Butler, and Frank Cavett (1944) Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1945) Robert Sherwood (1946) George Seaton
George Seaton
(1947) John Huston
John Huston
(1948) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(1949) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz


Harry Brown and Michael Wilson (1951) Charles Schnee (1952) Daniel Taradash (1953) George Seaton
George Seaton
(1954) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1955) John Farrow, S. J. Perelman, and James Poe (1956) Carl Foreman
Carl Foreman
and Michael Wilson (1957) Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
(1958) Neil Paterson (1959) Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks
(1960) Abby Mann (1961) Horton Foote (1962) John Osborne
John Osborne
(1963) Edward Anhalt (1964) Robert Bolt (1965) Robert Bolt (1966) Stirling Silliphant (1967) James Goldman (1968) Waldo Salt (1969) Ring Lardner Jr.
Ring Lardner Jr.
(1970) Ernest Tidyman (1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1972) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1973) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1974) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
and Lawrence Hauben (1975)


William Goldman
William Goldman
(1976) Alvin Sargent (1977) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) Alvin Sargent (1980) Ernest Thompson
Ernest Thompson
(1981) Costa-Gavras
and Donald E. Stewart (1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983) Peter Shaffer (1984) Kurt Luedtke (1985) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1986) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
and Mark Peploe (1987) Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(1988) Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
(1989) Michael Blake (1990) Ted Tally (1991) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Eric Roth (1994) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
(1996) Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Bill Condon (1998) John Irving
John Irving
(1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan


Akiva Goldsman
Akiva Goldsman
(2001) Ronald Harwood (2002) Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Fran Walsh (2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) William Monahan
William Monahan
(2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Geoffrey S. Fletcher
Geoffrey S. Fletcher
(2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon
Nat Faxon
(2011) Chris Terrio (2012) John Ridley
John Ridley
(2013) Graham Moore (2014) Adam McKay
Adam McKay
and Charles Randolph (2015) Barry Jenkins
Barry Jenkins
and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Tarell Alvin McCraney
(2016) James Ivory
James Ivory

v t e

Robert E. Sherwood


The Road to Rome (1927) Waterloo Bridge (1930) Reunion in Vienna (1931) Acropolis (1933) The Petrified Forest
The Petrified Forest
(1935) Idiot's Delight (1936) Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938) There Shall Be No Night (1940) The Rugged Path (1945) Miss Liberty
Miss Liberty


The Royal Bed
The Royal Bed
(1931) Tovarich (1937) Idiot's Delight (1939) Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940)

TV Plays

The Backbone of America
The Backbone of America

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 27257106 LCCN: n80017631 ISNI: 0000 0001 2125 3988 GND: 118796984 SUDOC: 076533611 BNF: cb139442819 (data) BIBSYS: 90843674 NDL: 001240598 BNE: XX1064466 SN