Albert Hackett Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Screenwriters Albert Maurice Hackett and Frances Goodrich were married on February 7, 1931, and lived happily together for fifty-three years. They enjoyed an enormously successful professional, and very happy personal, relationship, with the marriage lasting until Goodrich’s death on January 19, 1984. It was Hackett’s first marriage and Goodrich’s third. A year after Goodrich’s death, Hackett married dancer Gisella Svetlik.

Albert Hackett collaborated with Frances Goodrich on thirty-five screenplays, working together on films from 1928 to 1962; they subsequently wrote two teleplays, It Happened One Christmas and The Diary of Anne Frank. The Hackett-Goodrich team wrote four screenplays that earned nominations for Academy Awards—The Thin Man, After the Thin Man, Father of the Bride, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. None of the four, however, won the award. Nonetheless, Hackett and Goodrich won many prizes for their dramatic adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary about her years in hiding during the Holocaust. The Diary of Anne Frank won a Pulitzer Prize in drama, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Antoinette Perry Award, and the Laurel Award.

The Hackett and Goodrich screenwriting team was known for its comic touches in their films, and they stand today as one of the greatest, but also one of the most underrated, comedic screenwriting teams of all time. In addition to being an accomplished writer, Hackett was also a talented comic actor. His acting experience proved invaluable to him as a writer...

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(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Ehrlich, Evelyn. “Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.” In American Screenwriters, edited by Robert E. Morsberger, Stephen O. Lesser, and Randall Clark. Vol. 26 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1984. This essay provides a solid overview of the careers of Hackett and Goodrich.

Goodrich, David L. The Real Nick and Nora: Frances Goodrich and Albert Hacket, Writers of Stage and Screen Classics. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2001. This is an extremely valuable and useful book on Hackett and Goodrich, written by Goodrich’s nephew. Provides an extensive look into the work and lives of Hackett and Goodrich.

The New York Times, March 18, 1995. Hackett’s obituary discusses his life and career.