Berkman, Ted 1914-2006
Berkman, Ted 1914-2006
(Edward O. Berkman, Edward Oscar Berkman)
See index for CA sketch: Born January 9, 1914, in New York, NY; died of cancer, May 12, 2006, in Santa Barbara, CA. Author. Berkman was known for his dramas and comedies, especially his writings dealing with the Middle East, and for his biographical nonfiction and novels. A 1933 graduate of Cornell University, he began his career as a journalist for the New York Daily Mirror. Here he was a foreign editor, assistant city editor, and rewrite man in the mid-1930s before becoming a screenwriter. His early screenplays include The Squeaker (1937) and The Green Cockatoo (1939). Berkman returned to the Mirror in 1940, and when World War II broke out he joined the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service. Attached to the U.S. Army's Psychological Warfare Branch, he was stationed in the Middle East. After the war, he became a radio correspondent for the American Broadcasting Co. and reported on the 1948 war to establish the state of Israel; from 1947 to 1948, he was also worldwide director of information for the United Nations Appeal for Children. It was his Middle East experience that would lead to his best-known book, Cast a Giant Shadow: The Story of Mickey Marcus, Who Died to Save Jerusalem (1962), which he turned into a film in 1966. In 1967, he also published his book about the Six-Day War, Sabra. Focusing on screenwriting during the 1950s, Berkman wrote the Ronald Reagan comedy Bedtime for Bonzo (1951) with Raphael David Blau. Though the movie was critically panned, it remains a cult favorite for many. More respected are his films Fear Strikes Out (1957), which won a Christopher Award, and Edge of Fury (1958). Turning more to television in the 1960s, during the 1970s he found acclaim for his biographical novel To Seize the Passing Dream: A Novel of Whistler, His Women, and His World (1972), which won an Opie award, and the books The Lady and the Law: The Remarkable Story of Fanny Holzmann (1976) and the cowritten My Prisoner (1977), which is about Patty Hearst. Berkman found work as a columnist and university instructor in the 1970s and early 1980s, as well as being a theater critic and book reviewer. His last publication is 1998's Around the World in Eighty Years: Newsrooms, Soundstages, Private Encounters, and Public Affairs.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Chicago Tribune, May 30, 2006, section 3, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2006, p. B11.
New York Times, May 29, 2006, p. A17.
Times (London, England), June 12, 2006, p. 47.