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I. A. L. Diamond

I. A. L. Diamond

American screenwriter
I. A. L. Diamond
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American screenwriter
Was Screenwriter Film producer
From United States of America Romania
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 27 June 1920, Ungheni, Ungheni District, Moldova
Death 21 April 1988, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 67 years)
Star sign Cancer
Columbia University
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Screenplay  
Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay  
The details (from wikipedia)


I. A. L. Diamond (June 27, 1920 – April 21, 1988) was a comedy and drama writer in Hollywood from the 1940s through the 1980s. As Billy Wilder's second writing partner, after Charles Brackett, he wrote twelve screenplays with Wilder.

Early life

Diamond was born Ițec (Itzek) Domnici to a Jewish family in Ungheni, Iaşi County, Bessarabia, Romania, present day Moldova, was referred to as "Iz" in Hollywood, and was known to quip that his initials stood for "Interscholastic Algebra League", a prize he had won while attending Boys' High School in Brooklyn.

Diamond emigrated with his mother and sister, following his father to the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn in the United States at the age of 9. There he studied at the Boy's High School, showing ability in mathematics, competing in the state Mathematics Olympiads in 1936–37 and winning several medals therein.

Diamond completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia in 1941. There he studied journalism, publishing in the Columbia Daily Spectator under the pseudonym "I. A. L. Diamond". He was editor of the humor magazine Jester of Columbia, a member of the Philolexian Society, and became the only person to single-handedly write four consecutive productions of the annual revue, the Varsity Show as well as a spare should they need one. As a result, upon graduation he abandoned his plans to pursue his master's in engineering at Columbia and accepted a short-term contract in Hollywood.

Career and later life

A succession of limited-term contracts ensued, notably at Paramount Pictures where Diamond worked on projects without ultimately receiving a writing credit. He then moved to Universal, where in 1944 he worked on his first credited feature script, Murder in the Blue Room. It was a year later, at Warner Brothers, that he achieved his first real success and consequent recognition with Never Say Goodbye in 1946. He worked at 20th Century Fox from 1951–55, eventually deciding to become independent.

In 1957 he began a collaborative relationship with Billy Wilder on the movie Love in the Afternoon. From there, the pair had a string of hits with Some Like It Hot; The Apartment (which won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay); One, Two, Three; Irma la Douce; the Oscar-nominated The Fortune Cookie; the sex comedy Kiss Me, Stupid; and The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Diamond also had a hit with his 1969 solo adaptation of the play Cactus Flower into the movie of the same name.

In total, Diamond and Wilder wrote twelve movies together over 25 years. Some of these films feature characters engaged in never-ending but friendly squabbling, such as Joe and Jerry in Some Like it Hot and Holmes and Watson in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Diamond's widow claims that these characters were based on her husband's relationship with Wilder.

In 1980, Diamond and Wilder were given the Writers Guild of America's Laurel Award for career achievement in screenwriting. Wilder had previously received the Laurel Award in 1957 for his screenwriting partnership with Charles Brackett.


Diamond died of multiple myeloma in Beverly Hills, California on April 21 1988 at the age of 67.

Award and honors

Academy Awards

Shared with Billy Wilder

Year Category Film Result
1959 Best Adapted Screenplay Some Like It Hot Nominated
1960 Best Original Screenplay The Apartment Won
1966 Best Original Screenplay The Fortune Cookie Nominated

Golden Globe Awards

Shared with Billy Wilder

Year Category Film Result
1972 Best Screenplay Avanti! Nominated

WGA Awards

  • 1957: Love in the Afternoon – American Comedy (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1959: Some Like It Hot – American Comedy (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1960: The Apartment – American Comedy (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1961: One, Two, Three – American Comedy (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1963: Irma la Douce – American Comedy (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1966: The Fortune Cookie – American Comedy (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1969: Cactus Flower – Adapted Screenplay (Comedy)
  • 1970: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes – Original Screenplay (Comedy) (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1972: Avanti! – Adapted Screenplay (Comedy) (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1974: The Front Page – Adapted Screenplay (Comedy) (with Billy Wilder)
  • 1980: Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 18 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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