Stage & Screen Artist
Born July 10, 1900
Died March 23, 1984, Erwinna, Pennsylvania
Joseph Schrank wrote for both the Broadway stage and the Hollywood silver screen. He wrote several successful plays, the first of which was Page Miss Glory in 1935. In 1938 he collaborated with Nathaniel West on an anti-war play, Good Hunting which lasted only two nights on Broadway. His 1939 contributions to the long running satiric political revue, Pins and Needles, proved more successful. In Hollywood he wrote a number of scripts which provided audiences with early glimpses of such movie legends as Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Betty Grable, and Victor Mature. Perhaps his most important screenplay was the adaptation of the stage play, Cabin in the Sky, (1943). The film starred Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne and Ethel Waters and provided a showcase for many of the important African American performers of the period. Schrank also played a role in the dawn of the television age as a writer for all three major television networks from 1950 to 1970. Drawing upon music by Rodgers and Hammerstein, he adapted Cinderella for television in 1965. Inspired by bedtime stories he told his daughter, Schrank wrote several children's books.
Image: Joseph Schrank, unidentified photographer, photo courtesy of Maris Lakeman