Mark Hellinger

Mark Hellinger

New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 21 Dec 1947 (aged 44)
Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 470 · View Source
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Journalist, Screenwriter, Producer. He was born in Manhattan and had an unabashed love affair with the city that lasted his whole life. Kicked out of high school at 15, he started writing plays for the local stage but his dreams of theatrical glory were squelched after his Broadway debut, "None Are So Blind" (1923), closed after one performance. He then became a reporter for the tabloid The Daily News and, along with Damon Runyon and Walter Winchell, pioneered in covering New York's colorful Broadway beat. In his weekly column "About Town" (1925 to 1937) and the daily "Behind the News" (1928 to 1937), Hellinger interspersed news items and reviews with rather sentimental short stories about the area's hoodlums and would-be stars. Some of these tales were collected in the books "Moon Over Broadway" (1931), and "The Ten Million" (1934). Meanwhile he remained active in the theatre, writing sketches for the "Ziegfeld Follies of 1931" and the book of the musical "Hot-Cha!" (1932), though his plays went unstaged. Two of them were later made into successful films, "Night Court" (1932) and "Broadway Bill" (1934). Moving to Hollywood in 1937, Hellinger finally found his forte as a writer-producer at Warner Bros. and Fox. He wrote the original story for "The Roaring Twenties" (1939), fought to give Humphrey Bogart his first starring role in "High Sierra" (1941), and is credited with discovering Burt Lancaster. His other films include "Hell's Kitchen" (1939), "They Drive by Night" (1940), "Moontide" (1942), and "The Horn Blows at Midnight" (1945). In 1945 he formed his own independent company, releasing through Universal, and produced three top-notch crime dramas, "The Killers" (1946), "Brute Force" (1947), and "The Naked City" (1948); he also provided the famous narration for the latter ("There are eight million stories in the naked city..."), which was filmed on location in his beloved New York. A hard-drinking, chain-smoking workaholic, Hellinger died of a heart attack at 44. From 1949 to 1989 a Broadway theatre was named in his honor.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 470
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mark Hellinger (21 Mar 1903–21 Dec 1947), Find a Grave Memorial no. 470, citing Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .