|Born||Jerome Irving Wald
September 16, 1911
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||July 13, 1962
Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Screenwriter; motion picture/radio program producer|
|Spouse(s)||Constance M. Polan (1941–1962; his death; 2 children)|
Life and career
Born Jerome Irving Wald in Brooklyn, New York, he had a brother and sons who were active in show business. He began writing a radio column for the New York Evening Graphic, while studying at New York University. This led to him producing several Rambling 'Round Radio Row featurettes for Vitaphone, Warner Brothers' short subject division (1932–33).
He wrote and produced numerous films between the 1930s and 1960s, including Stars Over Broadway (1935), The Roaring Twenties (1939), On Your Toes (1939, in collaboration with playwright Lawrence Riley), They Drive by Night (1940), Across the Pacific (1942), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Destination Tokyo (1943), Mildred Pierce (1945), Johnny Belinda (1948), Key Largo (1948), Always Leave Them Laughing (1949), The Glass Menagerie (1950), and Perfect Strangers (1950).
Wald and Norman Krasna formed Wald/Krasna Productions to release films through RKO Radio Pictures, including Two Tickets to Broadway (1951), The Blue Veil (1951), Behave Yourself! (1952), The Lusty Men (1952), and Clash by Night (1953). Krasna and Wald dissolved their partnership because of interference from Howard Hughes, then head of RKO, in their productions. Wald went on to produce Peyton Place (1957), An Affair to Remember (1957), In Love and War (1958), The Sound and the Fury (1959), Sons and Lovers (1960), Return to Peyton Place (1961), and Wild in the Country (1961).
He also produced the Academy Awards telecast twice, the ceremonies for 1957 and 1958. He received four Academy Award nominations as producer of the following nominees for Best Picture: Mildred Pierce, Johnny Belinda, Peyton Place and Sons and Lovers. Although he never won a competitive Academy Award, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1949.
Wald married Constance Emily "Connie" Polan on December 25, 1941; the couple had two sons.
Wald died, aged 50, at his home in Beverly Hills, California from a heart attack. His widow, Connie Wald (born August 13, 1916 – died November 10, 2012), was a California socialite and hostess; she was survived by her two sons and two grandchildren.