Lawrence B. Marcus
BiographyBeaver, Utah, USA
Born in Beaver, Utah, during World War I, it was not until the next World War that Lawrence Marcus found his niche as a writer. Serving in the Army Air Force, he found that he had a knack for writing and began scripting radio shows. The irony of discovering himself applying skills that are usually honed and developed only after one receives the traditional high school diploma and a degree or two from a reputable university, of course, lay in the fact that while growing up in Chicago, Marcus had gone only as far as the eighth grade in school. Read more... fifty-year writing career, he also found that he had a knack for award-winning scripts. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work on the 1980 "Stunt Man." His writing also garnered the Writers Guild of America Award, the Golden Globe, a Christopher Award, and an Alfred Sloan Award. One of his best remembered works is his 1968 adaptation for Richard Lester of the John Hasse novel "Me and the Arch Kook Petulia." "Petulia," the title of the resulting movie, starred George C. Scott and Julie Christie and is consider by many one of the ten best movies of the decade. Interestingly, Marcus attempted to bow out of working on the script. He became frustrated and disappointed with his efforts and, after the first thirty-five pages, sent what he had to Richard Lester with a letter of resignation. Lester immediately wired Marcus: "Love the pages; hated the letter, work." He also experienced disappointments in his writing when he collaborated on a screenplay with Jim Morrison of The Doors fame. But this time, unlike the reaction Richard Lester supplied, Morrison destroyed the script and the project. Throughout his career he collaborated with Douglas Fairbanks III, Rosalind Russell, lived in Rome, where he developed feature films, traveled to South Africa for a story on diamond mining. His final project was work on a early 1990s project for Universal Studios and Paul Newman, tentatively entitled "Homesman." In the 1980s, helping others achieve heights (i.e. degrees) that had eluded him, he taught screenwriting at New York University. Not bad for a man with only an eighth grade education.