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Nelson Gidding

Nelson Gidding

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Nelson Roosevelt Gidding (September 15, 1919–May 1, 2004) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

 specializing in adaptations
Film adaptation
Film adaptation is the transfer of a written work to a feature film. It is a type of derivative work.A common form of film adaptation is the use of a novel as the basis of a feature film, but film adaptation includes the use of non-fiction , autobiography, comic book, scripture, plays, and even...

. A longtime collaboration with director Robert Wise
Robert Wise
Robert Earl Wise was an American sound effects editor, film editor, film producer and director...

 began with Gidding's screenplay for I Want To Live!
I Want to Live!
I Want to Live! is a 1958 film noir produced by Walter Wanger and directed by Robert Wise which tells the heavily fictionalized story of a woman, Barbara Graham, convicted of murder and facing execution. It stars Susan Hayward as Graham, and also features Simon Oakland, Stafford Repp, and Theodore...

(1958), which earned him an Oscar
Academy Awards
An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

 nomination. His long-running course on screenwriting adaptions at the University of Southern California
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 inspired screenwriters of the present generation, including David S. Goyer
David S. Goyer
David Samuel Goyer is an American screenwriter, film director and comic book writer.-Early life:Goyer was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended Hebrew school and has described himself as "half Jewish"...

.

Gidding was born in New York and attended school at Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy
Phillips Exeter Academy is a private secondary school located in Exeter, New Hampshire, in the United States.Exeter is noted for its application of Harkness education, a system based on a conference format of teacher and student interaction, similar to the Socratic method of learning through asking...

; as a young man he was friends with Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer
Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Hunter S...

. After graduating from Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, he entered the Army Air Forces in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 as the navigator on a B-26
B-26 Marauder
The Martin B-26 Marauder was a World War II twin-engine medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company. First used in the Pacific Theater in early 1942, it was also used in the Mediterranean Theater and in Western Europe....

. His plane was shot down over Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, but he survived; he spent 18 months as a POW
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 but effected an escape. Returning from the war, in 1946 he published his only novel, End Over End, begun while captive in a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 prison camp.

In 1949 Gidding married Hildegarde Colligan; together they had a son, Joshua Gidding, who today is a New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

 writer and college professor.

In Hollywood, Gidding entered work in television, writing for such series as Suspense and Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, and eventually moved into feature films like The Helen Morgan Story
The Helen Morgan Story
The Helen Morgan Story is a 1957 American biographical film directed by Michael Curtiz starring Ann Blyth and Paul Newman.The screenplay by Oscar Saul, Dean Riesner, Stephen Longstreet, and Nelson Gidding is based on the life and career of torch singer/actress Helen Morgan, with fictional touches...

(1957), Odds Against Tomorrow
Odds Against Tomorrow
Odds Against Tomorrow is a 1959 film noir produced and directed by Robert Wise for HarBel Productions, a company founded by the film's star, Harry Belafonte. Belafonte selected Abraham Polonsky to write the script, which is based on a novel by William P. McGivern. As a blacklisted writer Polonsky...

(1959), The Haunting
The Haunting (1963 film)
The Haunting is a 1963 British psychological horror film by American director Robert Wise and adapted by Nelson Gidding from the novel The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson. It stars Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, and Russ Tamblyn. The film centers around the conflict between...

(1963), The Andromeda Strain
The Andromeda Strain (film)
The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science-fiction film, based on the novel published in 1969 by Michael Crichton. The film is about a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin that causes rapid, fatal blood clotting. Directed by Robert Wise, the film...

(1971), and The Hindenburg
The Hindenburg (film)
The Hindenburg is a 1975 American film based on the disaster of the German airship Hindenburg. The film stars George C. Scott. It was produced and directed by Robert Wise, and was written by Nelson Gidding, Richard Levinson and William Link based on the book of the same name by Michael M. Mooney .A.A...

(1975).

After the death of his first wife on June 13, 1995, in 1998 Gidding married Chun-Ling Wang, a Chinese immigrant.

Gidding taught at USC
University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is a private, not-for-profit, nonsectarian, research university located in Los Angeles, California, United States. USC was founded in 1880, making it California's oldest private research university...

 until his death from congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure
Heart failure often called congestive heart failure is generally defined as the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition...

 at a Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

hospital in 2004.

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