The Info List - Stirling Silliphant

Stirling Dale Silliphant (January 16, 1918 – April 26, 1996) was an American screenwriter and producer. He is best known for his screenplay for In the Heat of the Night, for which he won an Academy Award in 1967, and for creating the television series Naked City and Route 66. Other features as screenwriter include the Irwin Allen productions The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure.


1 Family 2 Output 3 Television 4 Film 5 Death 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links

Family[edit] His father, Sterling Silliphant, was a Canadian who immigrated to the United States
United States
in 1911, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1916. His mother was Ethel M. Silliphant. He had one brother, Leigh, who was three years younger. Born in Detroit, Michigan, his family moved to Glendale, California when he was a child. He graduated from Hoover High School, and was educated at the University of Southern California. Output[edit] Silliphant was a film and television writer with more than 700 hours of prime-time television drama to his credit, many of which earned Emmys for their producers, directors, and cast members. However, he never received an Emmy personally as writer. Time in 1967 referred to him in a feature article with the statement: "The moving finger...having written, moved on!"[citation needed] Production manager Sam Manners called him from the road unit of Route 66 from El Paso, Texas. He told Stirling they could save perhaps $100,000 if Stirling could write an extra story for the show that could be shot in El Paso while the production trucks and crew were there. Silliphant obliged, and had the script ready in a couple of days. The guest star was Albert Dekker, who was flown in to portray his part over the weekend.[citation needed] Although he worked constantly in Hollywood, he had a well-known aversion against living in Southern California, where he had grown up. After he became successful, he built a house in Tiburon, California and commuted regularly by air to Los Angeles.[citation needed] Television[edit] In the earlier part of his career, he was publicity director for Walt Disney, and was lead writer on the stories incorporated into The Mickey Mouse Club. He produced several independent films such as 5 Against the House with Kim Novak, Huk!
and Maracaibo. Later he broke into television, writing for the live Playhouse 90. Perry Mason and Alfred Hitchcock Presents
Alfred Hitchcock Presents
soon followed.[citation needed] Silliphant was known for his involvement in two TV series of the sixties, Route 66 and Naked City. Silliphant was quoted as saying that a number of his Naked City scripts were far superior to the script that won him the Oscar for In the Heat of the Night. He adapted eight half-hour episodes of Naked City into a tie-in paperback as well, which was published in 1959. One of his later series creations was Longstreet, which featured a blind detective played by James Franciscus, who had also starred in the first season of Naked City. He wrote three television miniseries: Pearl (about the attack on Pearl Harbor), Space (based on the James Michener
James Michener
novel about America's early space program), and Mussolini: The Untold Story. He wrote the script for a never-produced TV miniseries of Atlas Shrugged, the novel by Ayn Rand.[citation needed] Film[edit] Silliphant wrote or co-wrote 47 feature films, including Maracaibo (produced and directed by and starring Cornel Wilde); the Jacques Tourneur noir Nightfall; Village of the Damned; the Charles Bronson spy thriller Telefon, The Liberation of L.B. Jones
The Liberation of L.B. Jones
(director William Wyler's final film); The Killer Elite
The Killer Elite
(directed by Sam Peckinpah); the Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry
crime drama The Enforcer and the arm-wrestling story Over the Top (the latter with its star Sylvester Stallone). In addition to the Academy Award, In the Heat of the Night also earned Silliphant an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America, for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. He helped to pull film concepts together. He penned the screenplay for Shaft in Africa, the third film in the Shaft series. With Chatrichalerm Yukol, he co-wrote the screenplay to the 1994 Thai action film, Salween. He was a close friend of Bruce Lee, under whom he studied martial arts. Lee was featured in the Silliphant-penned detective movie Marlowe and four episodes of the series Longstreet. Silliphant reportedly recommended Lee for action choreography work. They had been working on a philosophical martial arts script, The Silent Flute (later known as Circle of Iron), which was to star Lee and James Coburn, and the pre-production even went to the extent of all three going to India on a location hunt. (A reliable source for this story is Bruce Thomas's book Bruce Lee: Fighting Spirit, pp. 129–130. The reason for the India trip was because Warner Brothers could not repatriate money their films made in India because of foreign exchange regulations. They green-lit the project on the condition that the film Siliphant, Coburn and Lee made would be shot in India to use up the money lying unused in Warner Bros's accounts.) His last screenplay was for the 1995 film The Grass Harp. Death[edit] He died in 1996 in Bangkok, Thailand, where he had resided since 1988.[1] His work papers are archived at UCLA's Westwood campus.[5] References[edit]

^ a b c d e Gussow, Mel, "Stirling Silliphant, 78, Writer; Won 'Heat of the Night' Oscar", The New York Times, April 27, 1996 ^ Oliver, Myrna, "Stirling Silliphant; Oscar-Winning Writer", Los Angeles Times, April 27, 1996 ^ a b "Biography: Stirling Silliphant", Turner Classic Movies ^ "Profile: Stirling Silliphant", Museum of Broadcast Communications, Chicago. ^ "UCLA: Stirling Silliphant Papers"

Further reading[edit]

Segaloff, Nat, Stirling Silliphant: The Fingers of God, BearManor Media, 2013. ISBN 9781593937584

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Stirling Silliphant

Stirling Silliphant on IMDb Stirling Silliphant profile at The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show website

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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

Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay

Robert Bolt (1965) Robert Bolt (1966) Stirling Silliphant (1967) Stirling Silliphant (1968) Bridget Boland, John Hale and Richard Sokolove (1969) Erich Segal
Erich Segal
(1970) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1972) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1973) Robert Towne
Robert Towne
(1974) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
and Lawrence Hauben (1975) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1976) Neil Simon
Neil Simon
(1977) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1980) Ernest Thompson
Ernest Thompson
(1981) John Briley (1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983) Peter Shaffer (1984) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1985) Robert Bolt (1986) Bernardo Bertolucci, Mark Peploe and Enzon Ungari (1987) Naomi Foner (1988) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
and Ron Kovic
Ron Kovic
(1989) Michael Blake (1990) Callie Khouri
Callie Khouri
(1991) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(1994) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (1996) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
and Matt Damon
Matt Damon
(1997) Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
(1998) Alan Ball (1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000) Akiva Goldsman
Akiva Goldsman
(2001) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2002) Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola
(2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) Peter Morgan (2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
and Sheldon Turner (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(2011) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(2012) Spike Jonze
Spike Jonze
(2013) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo (2014) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2015) Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle
(2016) Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 116979898 LCCN: n95004276 ISNI: 0000 0001 1780 4660 GND: 135810744 SUDOC: 081284934 BNF: cb13899774g (data) NDL: 00456583 BNE: XX4578338 SN

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