Allen, Jay Presson 1922-2006

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Allen, Jay Presson 1922-2006
(Jacqueline Presson)


See index for CA sketch: Born March 3, 1922, in Fort Worth, TX; died of a stroke, May 2, 2006, in New York, NY. Author. Allen, known for such works as Tru, Cabaret, Marnie, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, was famous for her abilities to adapt the writings of other authors for the stage and screen. Originally moving to Hollywood at the age of eighteen to be an actress, she quickly discovered that her real talents lay in writing. Allen got her feet wet writing scripts for television programs such as the Philco Television Playhouse and wrote an early novel, Spring Riot (1948). It was in the 1960s and 1970s, however, that her career took off as a novel and play adapter. Beginning with 1964's Marnie, a film based on a novel by Winston Graham, Allen found her niche, proving her skills especially with the adaptation of a Muriel Spark novel, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which she adapted for the stage in 1966 and for film in 1969. In both versions, Allen's writing helped the starring actresses win Tony and Academy Awards. She continued her stage success with such plays as Forty Carats (1968) and Tru (1989), and films such as Cabaret (1972), Funny Lady (1975), and Deathtrap (1982). The author also found acclaim in the late 1970s in television, when she wrote the popular drama series Family; and she was the creator and executive producer of 1988's Hothouse. Slowing down later in life, Allen worked more as a script advisor, cleaning up the screenplays of others. Among her honors, Allen won a Writers Guild of America Award in 1971 for Cabaret and a 1976 Humanitas Award.



New York Times, May 2, 2006, p. A25.

Times (London, England), May 6, 2006, p. 66.

Washington Post, May 7, 2006, p. C7.

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Allen, Jay Presson 1922-2006

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