Author, Motion Picture Screenwriter. He is best remembered for creating such popular shows as "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965-1970) and for writing the novels "The Other Side of Midnight" (1973) and "Rage of Angels" (1980). Born Sidney Schechtel in Chicago, Illinois, to a German father and a Russian mother, he showed early writing ability, selling his first poem at age 10. During the Great Depression, he worked at a variety of jobs while he attended Northwestern University. Graduating in 1937, he moved to Hollywood, California, where he reviewed scripts and worked on a number of B-movies plots, developing his writing talent. When World War II broke out, he joined the Army Air Force, serving as a pilot, but returned to civilian life as soon as the military would release him near the end of the war. Moving to New York City, he began writing musicals for the Broadway stage, while still writing screenplays for both MGM and Paramount Studios. In 1947, he won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the movie, "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" (1947). Ten years later, in 1959, he won a Tony Award for his musical, "Redhead" which was produced on Broadway. In the 1950s and 1960s, as television began having more influence with audiences, he began writing screenplays for television shows. He provided most of the screenplays for the long-running television series "The Patty Duke Show" (1965 - 1968), the series "Hart to Hart" (1979 - 1984) and his personal favorite, "I Dream of Jeanie" (1965 - 1970), for which he won an Emmy Award. His first novel, "The Naked Face" (1969) was well received by critics and fans alike, which encouraged him to continue writing, with his next book, "The Other Side of Midnight" (1973) going to number one on the New York Times Best Seller List. A prolific writer, Sheldon would write some 19 books, with his autobiographical "The Other Side of Me" (2005) being his last work. He was married for over 30 years to the former Jorja Curtright, an actress in her own right who later became an interior decorator. Following Jorja's death in 1985, he married Alexandra Kostoff, a former actress, four years later. Sheldon died from complications of pneumonia in Rancho Mirage, California, at the age of 89, two weeks short of his 90th birthday.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
Jorja Curtright Sheldon