Born in Brooklyn, New York, Spigelgass got his start collaborating on the script for Erich Von Stroheim's Hello, Sister! (1933). Additional screen credits include The Big Street (1942), I Was a Male War Bride (1949), Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957), Silk Stockings (1957), Pepe (1960), and Gypsy (1962).
Spigelgass also was a playwright and penned such dramas as Dear Me the Sky Is Falling, The Wrong Way Light Bulb, and A Remedy for Winter, the comedy A Majority of One, and the book for the musical Look to the Lilies. He also wrote plays for such television series as Playhouse 90 and the novels Million Dollar Baby and Fed to the Teeth.
During his career, Spigelgass wrote the scripts for eleven Academy Award-winning films. He himself was nominated in 1950 for the story for Mystery Street and garnered three Writers Guild of America nominations over the course of his career.
Spigelgass' sister, Beulah Roth, was a political speechwriter for Franklin Roosevelt and Adlai Stevenson, and was married to photographer Sanford H. Roth, a close friend of James Dean. Spigelgass died in Los Angeles, California.