Alan Campbell (screenwriter)

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Alan K. Campbell (February 21, 1904 – June 14, 1963) was an American writer, actor, and screenwriter. He and his wife, Dorothy Parker, were a popular screenwriting team in Hollywood from 1934 to 1963.

Born in Richmond, Virginia, he was the only child of Harry L. Campbell and Hortense Eichel Campbell. He graduated from the Virginia Military Institute and moved to New York City in the late 1920s. An occasional contributor of prose to The New Yorker, he also acted on the Broadway stage. He met Parker in 1932 and they married two years later in Raton, New Mexico. Like his wife, he was of half-Scottish and half-Jewish descent.

Campbell, Parker, and their collaborator, Robert Carson, earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for the 1937 version of A Star Is Born. He and Parker also wrote additional dialogue for The Little Foxes when Lillian Hellman was called away to work on another project.

In 1942 Campbell enlisted in the U.S. Army in Philadelphia. He was later commissioned an officer, and served in Europe in Army Intelligence. He attained the rank of captain. Campbell and Parker were married in 1934, divorced in 1947, remarried in 1950, and remained married until his death. (They were, nevertheless, separated from 1952 to 1961.)

Campbell killed himself on June 14, 1963 in West Hollywood, California. An autopsy revealed a large quantity of barbiturates in his system, and some accounts report that his death may have been accidental, but the fact that he was found with a plastic bag over his head and neck would appear to refute that idea. His remains were returned to Richmond for burial.

Film portrayal[edit]

Campbell was portrayed by Hal Holbrook in the 1977 film Julia and by Peter Gallagher in the 1994 film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.[1]


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