HELLINGER, MARK (1903–1947), U.S. columnist and playwright. A reporter for the New York Daily News, in 1923 Hellinger became the first columnist to write regularly about Broadway. In 1930 he moved to the New York Daily Mirror. He wrote musicals, plays, film scripts, and novels, and the last Ziegfeld Follies to be produced by Ziegfeld himself in 1930.
In 1937 he went to Hollywood as a producer and becameknown as a master of screen violence. Some of the films he produced include They Drive by Night (starring George Raft, 1940); Torrid Zone (James Cagney, 1940); High Sierra (Humphrey Bogart, 1941); the comedy Affectionately Yours (Rita Hayworth, 1941); Manpower (Edward G. Robinson, 1941); the musical Thank Your Lucky Stars (Eddie Cantor, 1943); Between Two Worlds (John Garfield, 1944); The Killers (Burt Lancaster, 1946), which won the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture; Brute Force (Lancaster, 1947); The Two Mrs. Carrolls (Bogart, 1947); and The Naked City (Howard Duff, 1948).
In 1931 Moon over Broadway, a collection of his short stories, was published. To find material and to add verisimilitude to the articles and stories he wrote, Hellinger researched real-life crimes, with the aid of such friends as gangsters Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Bugsy Siegel, and Dutch Schultz.
In 1944 he worked as a war correspondent for Hearst newspapers.
In 1949 a theater on Broadway that had been built in 1930 was renamed in his honor. The Mark Hellinger Theater showcased such Broadway classics as Two on the Aisle, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Sugar Babies, Merlin, and Tango Argentino.
J. Bishop, The Mark Hellinger Story: A Biography of Broadway and Hollywood (1952).
[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]