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Charles Brackett

Charles Brackett

Writer, Screenwriter
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Screenwriter Film producer Writer
Countries United States of America
Gender male
Birth November 26, 1892 (Saratoga Springs, New York, U.S.A.)
Death March 9, 1969 (Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.)
Education Williams College, Harvard Law School
The details

Charles William Brackett (November 26, 1892 – March 9, 1969) was an American novelist, screenwriter, and film producer, best known for his long collaboration with Billy Wilder.

Life and career

Brackett was born November 26, 1892 in Saratoga Springs, New York, the son of Mary Emma Corliss and New York State Senator, lawyer, and banker Edgar Truman Brackett. The family's roots traced back to the arrival of Richard Brackett in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, near present-day Springfield, Massachusetts. His mother's uncle, George Henry Corliss, built the Centennial Engine that powered the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. A 1915 graduate of Williams College, he earned his degree from Harvard University. He joined the Allied Expeditionary Force during World War I. He was awarded the French Medal of Honor. He was a frequent contributor to the Saturday Evening Post, Collier's, and Vanity Fair, and a drama critic for The New Yorker from 1925-29. He wrote five novels: The Counsel of the Ungodly (1920), Week-End (1925), That Last Infirmity (1926), American Colony (1929), and Entirely Surrounded (1934).

Brackett was president of the Screen Writers Guild (1938–1939). He was president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1949 through 1955. Brackett either wrote or produced over 40 films during his career, including To Each His Own, Ninotchka, The Major and the Minor, The Mating Season (1951), Niagara, The King and I, Ten North Frederick, The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker, and Blue Denim. From 1936 until 1950, Brackett worked with Billy Wilder as his collaborator on thirteen movies, including The Lost Weekend (1945) and Sunset Boulevard (1950), which won Academy Awards for their screenplays. The duo's professional partnership ended in 1950, after the completion of Sunset Boulevard. Brackett then went to work at 20th Century-Fox as a screenwriter and producer. His script for Titanic (1953) won him another Academy Award. He received an Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1959.


Brackett married Elizabeth Barrows Fletcher, a descendant of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower, on June 2, 1919, in Indianapolis, Indiana. They had two daughters, Alexandra Corliss Brackett (1920–1968) and Elizabeth Fletcher Brackett (1922–1997). Elizabeth died on June 7, 1948. In 1953, Brackett married Elizabeth's sister, Lillian Fletcher; that union was childless.


Charles Brackett died on March 9, 1969, aged 77, in Beverly Hills, California. His diaries covering the years 1932 until the breakup with Wilder were edited by Anthony Slide under the title It's the Pictures That Got Small: Charles Brackett on Billy Wilder and Hollywood's Golden Age (Columbia University Press, 2014)

Partial filmography

  • Tomorrow's Love (1925) – writer; based on his own story Interlocutory
  • Risky Business (1926) – based on his own story Pearls Before Cecily
  • Pointed Heels (1929) – based on his story
  • Secrets of a Secretary (1931) – based on his story
  • College Scandal (1935) – writer
  • Without Regret (1935) – writer
  • The Last Outpost (1935) – writer
  • Rose of the Rancho (1936) – writer
  • Woman Trap (1936) – writer
  • Piccadilly Jim (1936) – writer
  • Live, Love and Learn (1937) – writer
  • Bluebeard's Eighth Wife (1938)* – writer
  • What a Life (1939)* – writer
  • Ninotchka (1939)* – writer
  • Arise, My Love (1940)* – writer
  • Hold Back the Dawn (1941)* – writer
  • Ball of Fire (1941)* – writer
  • The Major and the Minor (1942)* – writer
  • Five Graves to Cairo (1943)* – writer, producer
  • The Uninvited (1944) – producer
  • The Lost Weekend (1945)* – producer, writer
  • To Each His Own (1946) – writer, producer
  • A Foreign Affair (1948)* – writer, producer
  • The Emperor Waltz (1948)* – writer, producer
  • Miss Tatlock's Millions (1948) – writer, producer
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)* – writer, producer
  • Edge of Doom (1950) – writer (uncredited)
  • The Mating Season (1951) – writer,producer
  • The Model and the Marriage Broker (1951) – writer, producer
  • Niagara (1953) – writer, producer
  • Titanic (1953) – writer, producer
  • Woman's World (1954) – producer
  • Garden of Evil (1954) – producer
  • The Virgin Queen (1955) – producer
  • The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955) – writer, producer
  • Teenage Rebel (1956) – writer, producer
  • The King and I (1956) – producer
  • D-Day the Sixth of June (1956) – producer
  • The Wayward Bus (1957) – producer
  • The Gift of Love (1958) – producer
  • Ten North Frederick (1958) – producer
  • The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959) – producer
  • Blue Denim (1959) – producer
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) – writer, producer
  • High Time (1960) – producer
  • State Fair (1962) – producer

("*" indicates collaboration with Billy Wilder)

Award and Nominations

Academy Awards

Year Category Film Result Shared with
1939 Best Adapted Screenplay Ninotchka Nominated Billy Wilder & Walter Reisch
1941 Best Adapted Screenplay Hold Back the Dawn Nominated Billy Wilder
1945 Best Picture The Lost Weekend Won N/A
1945 Best Adapted Screenplay The Lost Weekend Won Billy Wilder
1948 Best Adapted Screenplay A Foreign Affair Nominated Billy Wilder & Richard L. Breen
1950 Best Picture Sunset Boulevard Nominated N/A
1950 Best Original Screenplay Sunset Boulevard Won Billy Wilder & D.M. Marshman, Jr.
1953 Best Original Screenplay Titanic Won Richard L. Breen & Walter Reisch
1956 Best Picture The King and I Nominated N/A
1957 Honorary Award N/A Won N/A
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Life and career Marriages Death Partial filmography Award and Nominations
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