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 Cornell Woolrich

Cornell Woolrich

Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 25 Sep 1968 (aged 64)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA
Plot Shrine of Memories Mausoleum, Unit 1, Tier G, Crypt 102
Memorial ID 4735 · View Source
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Noir Writer. Born Cornell George Hopley-Woolrich in New York City, the son of Claire Attalie Tarler and Gennaro Hopley-Woolrich, a civil engineer. His parents separated when he was about four, and he accompanied his father to Mexico where they remained for almost ten years. He then returned to his mother's home in New York from which he attended school. He left Columbia University before taking a degree. He published his first work, a jazz age novel, 'Cover Charge,' in 1926, followed by 'Children of the Ritz' the following year. It won $10,000 in a First National Pictures contest and was adapted as a film in 1929. He was then hired as a script writer in Hollywood, contributing to 'House of Horror' (1929) under the pseudonym William Irish. Within a year, he returned to New York, where he lived with his mother. Over the next few years, he deliberately altered his writing style, leaving behind his jazz age milieu. He wrote suspense for the pulp magazines of the day such as Black Mask, Detective Fiction Weekly, and Dime Detective, if not under his own name than as William Irish or George Hopley. The short story, 'It Had to Be Murder,' which appeared in Dime Detective Magazine in February 1942 under the Irish pseudonym, was the basis for the 1954 film 'Rear Window.' In 1940, his first suspense novel, 'The Bride Wore Black' was published. It would be adapted as a feature film in 1968. Other novels in the same vein followed; 'The Black Curtain' (1941); 'The Black Alibi' (1942); 'The Black Angel' (1943); and 'The Black Path of Fear' (1944). His work was considered both highly formulaic and hypnotically atmospheric. Other works included 'I Married a Dead Man' (1948) and 'Rendezvous in Black' (1948). Numerous noir films of the 1940s, were based upon his works including 'Street of Chance '(1942, based on Black Curtain) ; 'Phantom Lady' (1944) 'Black Angel' (1946); 'The Chase' (1946); 'Deadline at Dawn' (1946); 'Fall Guy' (1947); 'The Guilty' (1947): and 'The Night Has a Thousand Eyes' (1948). After his mother's death in 1957, he went into a decline, neglecting an infected foot until gangrene set in and the lower leg amputated. A recluse for the remainder of his life, his output dropped dramatically, only seven more publications were released before his death following a stroke at age 64. He left an estate of almost a million dollars to Columbia University to endow a scholarship for writing students.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 16 Mar 1999
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4735
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Cornell Woolrich (4 Dec 1903–25 Sep 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4735, citing Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .