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Waldo Salt

Waldo Salt

American screenwriter (1914-1987)
Waldo Salt
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American screenwriter (1914-1987)
Was Screenwriter Actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 18 October 1914, Chicago, USA
Death 7 March 1987, Los Angeles, USA (aged 72 years)
Star sign LibraLibra
Spouse: Eve Merriam
Stanford University
Writers Guild of America Award  
Academy Award for Best Writing, Original Screenplay  
Academy Award for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay  
The details


Waldo Miller Salt (October 18, 1914 – March 7, 1987) was an American screenwriter who won Academy Awards for both Midnight Cowboy and Coming Home.

Early life and career

Salt was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Winifred (née Porter) and William Haslem Salt, an artist and business executive. He graduated from Stanford University in 1934. The first of the nineteen films he wrote (or participated in writing) was released in 1937 with the title The Bride Wore Red.

Salt's career in Hollywood was interrupted when he was blacklisted after refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951. Like many other blacklisted writers, while he was unable to work in Hollywood Salt wrote pseudonymously for the British television series The Adventures of Robin Hood. After the collapse of the blacklist, Salt won Academy Awards for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium for his work on Midnight Cowboy and Coming Home, and a nomination for Serpico.

Salt is featured in the extras for the Criterion Collection's Midnight Cowboy blu-ray release, specifically in an audio interview with Michael Childers; many photos of Waldo Salt can be seen here as he was a collaborator for the screenplay. The documentary listed below, Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey, is also featured on the disc.

Personal life and death

Salt was married three times, first to actress Mary Davenport with whom he had two children, actress/writer/producer Jennifer, and Deborah. After his divorce from Davenport, he married Gladys Schwartz and later playwright Eve Merriam. He remained married to Merriam until his death in Los Angeles, aged 72, on March 7, 1987.


Waldo Salt was the subject of a 1990 documentary Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey, which featured interviews with Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jon Voight, John Schlesinger and other collaborators and friends.

The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award

The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, first presented in 1992, is awarded at the Sundance Film Festival annually. It is determined by the dramatic jury, and recognizes outstanding screenwriting in a film screened at the festival that year. See List of Sundance Film Festival award winners for a list of winners.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1949 Writers Guild of America Award Nominated Best Written American Western Rachel and the Stranger
1970 Won Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium Midnight Cowboy
1974 Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium Serpico
1979 Best Drama Written Directly for the Screen Coming Home
1986 Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement
1970 Academy Award Won Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Midnight Cowboy
1974 Nominated Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Serpico
1979 Won Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen Coming Home
1970 BAFTA Award Won Best Screenplay Midnight Cowboy
1974 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Nominated Serpico
1970 Golden Globe Award Nominated Best Screenplay Midnight Cowboy
1979 Best Screenplay - Motion Picture Coming Home
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 09 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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