Don M. Mankiewicz, who received an Oscar nomination for his screenplay I Want To Live and was the creator behind TV’s Ironside and Marcus Welby, M.D., died of congestive heart failure at his home in Monrovia, CA, Saturday, his son told The Los Angeles Times. He was 93.
Born in Berlin, German, Mankiewicz began his career as a staff writer for the New Yorker, and novelist, publishing his first novel Trial in 1954, which was later made into a film starring Glenn Ford and Dorothy McGuire. He received an Oscar nomination in for his screenplay adaptation of I Want to Live!, a 1958 film about a prostitute falsely accused of murder. It was loosely based on the true story of Barbara Graham, who was put to death in California’s gas chamber three years earlier.
Mankiewicz later sequed into TV, when in 1967, he wrote the pilot for the long-running TV series Ironside, starring Raymond Burr as a paraplegic private investigator. He also wrote the pilot for Marcus Welby, M.D. two years later and penned several episodes for both series.
Mankiewicz was no stranger to the entertainment business, having grown up in a Hollywood family. His father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, who penned Citizen Kane. His uncle was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, director of All About Eve, among others, according to The Times
Mankiewicz also was active in the Writers Guild of America, His son John told the Times his father helped gain union representation for quiz-show writers. As a result, the Jeopardy writers made him the answer to a question.