Ernest Gébler

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Ernest Gébler (31 December 1914[1] – 26 January 1998), sometimes credited as Ernie Gebler, was an Irish writer of Czech origin. He was a member of Aosdána.[2]

Early and personal life[edit]

Gébler was born in Dublin, one of five children of Adolf (or Adolphe) Gébler, a shopkeeper and musician of Czech Jewish origin who had married a Dublin theatre usherette.[3][4] The family moved to Wolverhampton in 1925.[1][3] In 1930 Adolf got a job with a Dublin light opera company and Ernest followed the rest of the family there in 1931.[3] Ernest worked backstage in the Gate Theatre in the 1930s.[2] He was first married to Leatrice Gilbert, daughter of the actors John Gilbert and Leatrice Joy, whom he met on a trip to Hollywood. The couple moved to Ireland, got married and had a son John Karl (called Karl by Ernest but John by his mother). They were divorced in 1952,[3] and mother and baby returned to America. In Dublin in 1952 Gébler met future novelist Edna O'Brien, then working in a pharmacist's shop.[5] After opposition from O'Brien's family, they moved to England, married in 1954, and had two sons, Karl (later Carlo) and Sasha, who became respectively a writer and an architect.[5] O'Brien's literary career eclipsed Gébler's after her debut novel The Country Girls in 1960. The couple separated in 1964 and divorced in 1968,[6] with O'Brien eventually getting sole custody of the children.[4] Both O'Brien and Carlo Gébler later wrote about Ernest's cruelty to the family. Gébler returned to Dublin in 1970, and died there in 1998 of a bronchial infection, after several years with Alzheimer's disease.[3]


Works by Ernest Gébler
Title Type Year Notes Refs
He Had My Heart Scalded novel 1946[n 1] [2][7]
The Voyage of the Mayflower novel 1950 Historical novel based on the 1620 Mayflower voyage. Sold five million copies. Filmed in 1952 as Plymouth Adventure starring Spencer Tracy [2][9]
She Sits Smiling play 1954 Premièred at the Pike Theatre [2][10]
A Week in the Country novel 1957 [2][11]
The Love Investigator novel 1960 [2][12]
Eileen O'Roon play [2]
Why Aren't You Famous? teleplay 1966 For the BBC. Adapted from his play Eileen O'Roon. A German version was broadcast in 1969. [2][13][14]
Where Will I find what will Change my Life? teleplay 1966 [2][15][16]
Call Me Daddy teleplay 1967 "Armchair Theatre" episode on ABC broadcast 8 April 1967. Edited by Terence Feely and directed by Alvin Rakoff. Won the 1968 International Emmy for Entertainment. Expanded into his novel Shall I Eat You Now?. A German version was broadcast in 1970. Staged at the Project Arts Centre in 1975. [2][17][18][19][20][21][22]
The Old Man and the Girl novel 1968 [2][23]
A Little Milk of Human Kindness teleplay 1968 For London Weekend Television [2][24]
Women Can be Monsters teleplay 1968 "The Wednesday Play" on BBC One, 27 November 1968. Produced by Thames Television [2][25][26]
Shall I Eat You Now? novel 1969 Based on his teleplay Call Me Daddy. Released in the USA as Hoffman, and filmed in 1970 also as Hoffman. [2][18][27]
Hoffman screenplay 1970 Based on his novel Shall I Eat You Now? [2]
A Cry for Help play 1975 Premièred at the Peacock Theatre, Dublin [2][28]
The Spaniards in Galway play [2]



  1. ^ WorldCat[7] and Carlo Gebler[8] say 1946; Donnelly incorrectly says 1944.[3]



  1. ^ a b Gebler 2013 p.21
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Ernest Gébler(1915–1998)". Former members. Aosdána. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Donnelly, Rachel (3 February 1998). "Ernest Gebler: an emotional Dubliner". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b MacLeish, William H. (2 December 2001). "The Tyrant (review of Father & I: A Memoir by Carlo Gébler)". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b Kersnowski p.xvii
  6. ^ Woods 2006, p.55
  7. ^ a b OCLC 559611125
  8. ^ Gebler 2013 p.24
  9. ^ OCLC 290861
  10. ^ "She Sits Smiling". Playography Ireland. Irish Theatre Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  11. ^ OCLC 1658836
  12. ^ OCLC 1015215
  13. ^ "Why Aren't You Famous? (1966)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "Warum bist du nicht berühmt? (TV Movie 1969)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Recent Television". Spotlight (118, part 2): 1931. 1966. 
  16. ^ "Where Shall I Find What Will Change My Life (1966)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  17. ^ White, Leonard (2003). Armchair Theatre: The Lost Years. Kelly Publications. pp. 19–20, 191–192, 212–214, 275. ISBN 9781903053188. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  18. ^ a b Woods 2006, p.61
  19. ^ "Early Television". Alvin Rakoff. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  20. ^ O'Mahony, Andy (21 April 1975). "Call Me Daddy at the Project". Over the Barricades. RTÉ Television. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  21. ^ "Call Me Daddy (1967)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  22. ^ "Zum Diktat, Miss Smith (TV Movie 1970)". IMDb. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  23. ^ OCLC 438268
  24. ^ "A Little Milk of Human Kindness (1968)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  25. ^ The Stage Year Book. Carson & Comerford Ltd. 1969. p. 124. 
  26. ^ "Women Can Be Monsters (1968)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  27. ^ OCLC 37694
  28. ^ "Cry For Help". Playography Ireland. Irish Theatre Institute. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 

Further readings[edit]

  • Carlo Gébler: **The projectionist : the story of Ernest Gébler, Stillorgan, County Dublin, Republic of Ireland : New Island Books, 2015, ISBN 978-1-84840-457-1

External links[edit]