Harriet Frank Jr. Dies at age 96

Harriet Frank Jr. was an American film writer and producer. Working alongside her husband, Irving Ravetch, Frank received numerous awards during her lengthy career, including the New York Film Critics Circle Awards and the Writers Guild of America Award, and several nominations.

Harriet Frank Jr. Dies at age 96

Harriet Frank died Tuesday, 28th, January 2020 at her home in Los Angeles, her nephew, Michael Frank, told The New York Times.

Frank began her writing career after World War II, under Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's young writer's training program, where she first met her future husband. She married Ravetch in 1946 but worked independently for ten years, finally collaborating with him in 1957, a relationship that continued for the remainder of her career. During 33 years of collaboration, they created the screenplays for a variety of films, mainly adaptations of the works of American authors.

Frank and Ravetch worked on 17 features together, including eight directed by Martin Ritt over a 32-year span and three that were adapted from William Faulkner novels. They also transformed work by Elmore Leonard, Larry McMurtry, Pat Conroy, William Inge, Pat Barker and Dale Jennings for the big screen.

The couple met as writers at MGM and "were thrown into the studio system, and we went by the seat of our pants, by instinct and by a modicum of luck and happy circumstance," Frank told Patrick McGilligan in a 1990 interview. Her nickname was "Hank," and she and Ravetch were married from 1946 until his death in September 2010 at age 89.

Frank and her husband's first two collaborations with Ritt came on The Long, Hot Summer (1958), starring Paul Newman, and The Sound and the Fury (1959), starring Newman's wife, Joanne Woodward. Faulkner novels published in 1940 and 1929, respectively, served as the source material.


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