Gidding, Nelson 1919-2004
GIDDING, Nelson 1919-2004
See index for CA sketch: Born September 15, 1919, in New York, NY; died of congestive heart failure, May 2, 2004, in Santa Monica, CA. Author. Gidding was a prominent television and Hollywood screenwriter whose credits include such films as The Haunting (1964), The Andromeda Strain (1970), and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979). After completing his undergraduate degree in history and literature at Harvard College in 1941, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a B-26 navigator during World War II. During one mission, his plane was shot down near Rome and Gidding was captured by the Germans. While a P.O.W., Gidding, who had long harbored aspirations of becoming a writer, began penning his first novel secretly, and after the war it was published as End over End (1946); later novels include The Elephant Forgets (1956) and A Banana Boat Is Leaving (1978). Gidding was first employed as a radio script writer for the show Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, which later became a television series in the mid-1950s to which he also contributed episodes. He also wrote for television shows such as Suspense, Playwrights '56, and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Presents. His first movie credit was The Helen Morgan Story (1957); this was followed with a collaborative effort with Don Mankiewicz titled I Want to Live! (1958), which earned an Academy Award nomination. Many more credits would come during a career that reached into the 1990s, including Onionhead (1958), The Lost Command (1966), The Hindenburg (1975), and The Mummy Lives (1993). Until 2003, Gidding also taught students how to write screen adaptations at the University of Southern California.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2004, p. B14.
New York Times, May 14, 2004, p. A25.
Times (London, England), June 10, 2004, p. 33.