Abby Mann (December 1, 1927 – March 25, 2008) was an American film writer and producer.[1]

Life and career

Born as Abraham Goodman in Philadelphia, he grew up in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants. He was best known for his work on controversial subjects and social drama. His best known work is the screenplay for Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), which was initially a television drama which aired in 1959. Stanley Kramer directed the film adaptation, for which Mann received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In his acceptance speech, he said:

"A writer worth his salt at all has an obligation not only to entertain but to comment on the world in which he lives."[2]

Mann later adapted the play for a 2001 production on Broadway, which featured Maximilian Schell from the 1961 film in a different role.[3] In the introduction to the printed script, Mann credited a conversation with Abraham Pomerantz, U.S. Chief Deputy Counsel, for giving him the initial interest in Nuremberg.[4] Mann and Kramer also collaborated on the film A Child is Waiting (1963).

Working for television, he created the television series Kojak, starring Telly Savalas. Mann was executive producer, but was credited as a writer also on many episodes.[5] His other writing credits include the screenplays for the television films The Marcus-Nelson Murders, The Atlanta Child Murders,[6] Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story,[7] and Indictment: The McMartin Trial,[8] as well as the film War and Love.[9] He also directed the 1978 NBC TV miniseries King.

He died of heart failure in Beverly Hills, California on March 25, 2008, aged 80.[10][11] He died one day after Richard Widmark, one of the stars of Judgment at Nuremberg.

His stepson is former Israeli Special Forces operative Aaron Cohen.[12]

Mann is interred in Culver City's Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ By RON WERTHEIMERPublished: February 23, 2002 (2002-02-23). "Ron Wertheimer, "The Sleeping Car Porter Who Won the Last Round". ''The New York Times'', February 23, 2002". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  2. ^ "Ron Weiskind and Barbara Vancheri, "Pittsburgh goes to the Oscars". ''Pittsburgh Post-Gazette'', March 9, 2003". 2003-03-09. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  3. ^ , March 27, 2001.The New York TimesBruce Weber, "On Evil and the Citizen, No Answers Are Easy".
  4. ^ Mann, Abby. Judgment at Nuremberg - A play. New Directions. pp. page ix. 
  5. ^ Internet Movie Database"'Kojak' (1973)".
  6. ^ Bedell, Sally (1985-02-09). "Sally Bedell Smith, "CBS Turning Cameras on its Decision-Makers". ''The New York Times'', February 9, 1985". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  7. ^ By JOHN J. O'CONNORPublished: September 11, 1992 (1992-09-11). "John J. O'Connor, "Corruption, Love and Murder, All From Real Life". ''The New York Times'', September 11, 1992". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  8. ^ By JOHN J. O'CONNORPublished: May 19, 1995 (1995-05-19). "John J. O'Connor, "The Horrors Behind The McMartin Trial". ''The New York Times'', May 19, 1995". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  9. ^ , September 13, 1985.The New York TimesVincent Canby, "Screen: War and Love".
  10. ^ Saperstein, Pat (2008-03-26). "Obituary". Variety. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  11. ^ Obituary - Los Angeles Times
  12. ^ Obituary - New York Times

External links