Susskind, David

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SUSSKIND, DAVID (1920–1987), U.S. producer. Born in New York, Susskind was press agent for Warner Brothers after World War ii but later went into television, specializing in serious drama. By 1969 he had produced 26 plays, including Euripides' Medea; Rashomon; and Othello. He conducted his own discussion shows on television, notably Open End (1958–66) in which he talked with leading personalities about contemporary issues.

Susskind's tv series productions include Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950–63), Goodyear Television Playhouse (1951–57), The Dupont Show of the Month (1957–61), Play of the Week (1959–61), the sci-fi drama series Way Out (1961), the police drama series East Side/West Side (1963–64), the sitcom Alice (1976–85), and the Watergate miniseries Blind Ambition (Emmy nomination, 1979).

Among his many tv feature productions are Pinocchio (1957), Ten Little Indians (1959), Meet Me in St. Louis (1959), The Power and the Glory (1959), A Month in the Country (1959), Our Town (1959), The Waltz of the Toreadors (1959), Miracle on 34th Street (1959), Death of a Salesman (1966), The Glass Menagerie (1966), Mark Twain Tonight! (Emmy nomination, 1967), The Crucible (1967), Johnny Belinda (1967), Laura (1968), A Hatful of Rain (1968), The Price (Emmy nomination, 1971), The Country Girl (1973), A Moon for the Misbegotten (Emmy nomination, 1975), Eleanor and Franklin (Emmy Award for Outstanding Special, 1976), Harry S. Truman: Plain Speaking (Emmy nomination, 1976), Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years (Emmy Award for Outstanding Special, 1977), Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye (1977), Who'll Save Our Children? (1978), Sex and the Single Parent (1979), The Bunker (1981), Mister Lincoln (1981), Ian McKellen (1982), and Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess (1983).

In 1960, Susskind won the Peabody Award for his production of The Moon and Sixpence (1959), which featured Laurence Olivier in his American television debut. The stellar cast included Judith Anderson, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Cyril Cusack, Denholm Elliot, Geraldine Fitzgerald, and Jean Marsh.

Susskind also produced a number of feature films for the movies. Among these are Edge of the City (1957), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), All the Way Home (1963), Lovers and Other Strangers (1970), Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976), and Goldenrod (1976).


T. Morgan, Self-Creations: 13 Impersonalities (1965); E. Asinof, Bleeding between the Lines (1979).

[Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]