Freeman, Devery, 1913-2005

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Devery Freeman (1913-2005), Brooklyn-born native and Brookyn College graduate, became a noted novelist and screenwriter of movies, radio as well as the "new medium" of television. When just a young college student, Devery Freeman began to write professionally for magazines like The New Yorker, The Saturday Evening Post, American Magazine, Liberty, The Chicago Tribune Syndicate MacLeans, and the English humor magazine Punch. He moved to California after graduation (like his brother Everett who became a producer and writer) as a staff writer for MGM Studios. During World War II, Devery Freeman joined the Navy where he helped found the Navy Unit of the Armed Forces Radio and wrote training films and entertainment for the troops. Mr. Freeman wrote "Baby Snooks," a popular radio show starring Fanny Brice. He wrote screenplays for movies and television and even found time to write the occasional novel. Another important part of Mr. Freeman's life became the Screen Writers Guild which he helped co-found (renamed the Writers Guild of America in 1954); he was involved in the negotiations that helped the guild win "the right of exclusively determine writing credits." As a writer during television's Golden Age, Devery Freeman scripted stories for shows like "Playhouse 90," "Climax," and "Desilu Playhouse." He received the Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Television Drama (1957) for "The Great American Hoax," based on a story by the playwright Paddy Chayefsky. He was nominated in 1958 for the movie "The Girl Most Likely To," (co-written with Paul Jarrico), a musical starring Jane Powell. Devery Freeman became an executive at CBS Studios during the time "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "I Love Lucy," "Sea Hunt," and "The Beverly Hillbillies" aired. He produced (and wrote) numerous television series, including "The Thin Man," "The Loretta Young Show," and "Pete and Gladys." He created the western series "Sugarfoot." His film credits include "Main Street Lawyer," "The Thrill of Brazil," and "Ain't Misbehavin'." In fact, Mr. Freeman is credited with creating Lucille Ball's character in "Miss Grant Takes Richmond" showcasing her comedic timing. He wrote about twenty screenplays for the movies including Red Skelton's "The Yellow Cab Man" and "Watch the Birdie," several installments of "Francis the Talking Mule," and, in the early 1970's, scripted Father Sky, a novel about a military school, which was made into the movie "Taps" starring Timothy Hutton, George C. Scott, Sean Penn and Tom Cruise. Freeman continued to be active in the Writer's Guild of America long after he retired. In 1982, he was honored by the WGA. Freeman was active in other motion picture industry organizations; he served on the board of trustees of the Motion Picture and Television Fund, chaired the Case Committee, was a member of the Foreign Films Nominating Committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and a member on the Board of the Writers Guild Foundation. In 2000, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement by his alma mater, Brooklyn College. Devery Freeman died on October 7, 2005 in Los Angeles, CA. Two sons, Seth and Jonathan, and a granddaughter Lindsay, survive him.

From the description of The Papers of Devery Freeman, 192?-196? 1945-1960. (Brooklyn College). WorldCat record id: 436155990

Television screenplay writer.

Graduate of Brooklyn College.

From the description of Papers, 1934-1959. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 155453694

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Clements, Calvin J., 1915-. Desilu playhouse-- "Martin's folly" / by Calvin J. Clements. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Studio One production files, 1948-1955 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Freeman, Devery, 1913-2005. The Papers of Devery Freeman, 192?-196? 1945-1960. Brooklyn College
creatorOf Freeman, Devery. Works, 1934-1959. Brooklyn College
creatorOf Tashlin, Frank. The Fuller brush man : [screenplay / by Frank Tashlin and Devery Freeman]. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
creatorOf Freeman, Devery, 1913-2005. Papers, 1934-1959. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Wynn, Ed, 1886-1966. The Ed Wynn show. [No. 15], The music lovers / story and screenplay by Devery Freeman. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
creatorOf Miner, Worthington, 1900-1982. "Studio one" presents "Beyond reason" / by Worthington Miner ; based on a radio script by Devery Freeman. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Freeman, Devery, 1913-2005. Westinghouse studio one summer theatre-- "Beyond reason" / based on a radio script by Devery Freeman. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brooklyn College corporateBody
associatedWith Miner, Worthington, 1900-1982 person
correspondedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Screen Writers' Guild. corporateBody
associatedWith Tashlin, Frank. person
associatedWith United States. Armed Forces Radio Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Writers Guild of America. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Subject
Screenwriters--Biography
Radio writers
Television plays
Television writers
Occupation
Television writers
Activity

Person

Birth 1913-02-13

Death 2005-10-07

Americans

English

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