E. Jack Neuman Papers, 1935-1982


E. Jack Neuman, television and screen writer-producer, was born in Toledo, Ohio, on February 27, 1921, and raised in Denver, Colorado. In Denver he attended Regis Jesuit High School and it was as a student there that he gained his first experience with professional writing; he served for a short time as a sportswriter for the Denver Post. Neuman graduated from the University of Missouri in 1942, majoring in English and Journalism. He served with the Marine Corps from 1942 to 1946, and then attended law school at U.C.L.A. In 1951, he was a member of the first graduating class of that law school.

Before he completed his law degree, Neuman joined the writing staff of CBS Radio in Hollywood. Beginning in 1946, he wrote for Suspense, Sam Spade and Lux Radio Theater, among others. At this same time he was also writing feature films for MGM, Universal, and Sol Lessor Productions.

Neuman entered the field of television in the 1950s. He was associate producer of The Lineup (1954-1955), and he wrote the first 28 programs for that series. He has written for Twilight Zone, The Westerner, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, The Untouchables, Bonanza, Climax, Wire Service, Matinee, The Asphalt Jungle, Dr. Kildare (more than 20 teleplays), Cain's Hundred, and You Are There.

In 1960, Neuman joined the staff at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. There he wrote and developed the pilot for Dr. Kildare. The next year he created Sam Benedict, for which he served as executive producer. In 1963, he created the Mr. Novak series, serving as producer during the first year of the series and as executive producer the second year. He wrote the pilot show for Shenandoah, but was not connected with the series. He also created the pilot for The Mayor, which was not made into a series.

Neuman wrote the screenplay and produced the movie The Venetian Affair in 1967, while he was still associated with MGM. Then he moved to Universal Studios where he helped create the 1968 television series The Name of the Game.

E. Jack Neuman received an Emmy nomination for his teleplay, “The Long Goodbye,” an episode of Climax. He was awarded the Mystery Writers of America Award in 1955 for “The Shot,” a segment of Matinee. In 1956 he was nominated for writing achievement by the Writer's Guild of America for his film, Mojave; and President Eisenhower nominated Neuman for a Freedom Award for “The Scott Machine,” an episode of Asphalt Jungle, in 1961. In addition, Neuman won more than fifteen commendations, citations, and awards for his writing and production of the Mr. Novak series.

Neuman's later television and motion picture work includes such television programs as The Blue Knight, Kate McShane, Petrocelli, and Police Story. In addition he has been involved in several made-for-TV movies, a concept that he helped create. Among these are The Cable Car Murder, Kate McShane, Night Games, and Police Story, the latter three films eventually becoming series. Added to his motion picture credits were A Company of Killers (1970) and The Guardians (1972).

On May 9 and 10, 1982, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) televised E. Jack Neuman's five-hour dramatic adaptation of Albert Speer's best-selling memoirs, Inside the Third Reich. Albert Speer served as Hitler's chief architect and later as his confidant and Reich Minister for War Production. Neuman obtained the film rights to Speer's autobiography only after it had been optioned three times. Originally, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) had the rights to the book, but because of corporate changes and difficulties with NBC president Fred Silverman, Neuman was able to acquire the film rights and sell them to the ABC Film Division. Most of Inside the Third Reich was filmed on location in Munich. Neuman assembled an international cast to star in the production: Rutger Hauer as Speer; Derek Jacobi as Hitler; Blythe Danner as Margarete, Albert Speer's wife; Robert Vaughn as Field Marshal Erhard Milch; and Sir John Gielgud as Speer's father. Neuman also obtained the services of top-rated director Marvin Chomsky, a two-time Emmy award winner for his direction of “Holocaust” and “Attica.”

Mr. Neuman married the former Irene Booth in 1946. He and his wife had four children.