Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

Don M. Mankiewicz, a novelist and Oscar-nominated screenwriter who grew up in a  Hollywood family and went on to create TV’s “Ironside” and “Marcus Welby, M.D.” died at his home in Monrovia over the weekend. He was 93.

Mankiewicz’s death Saturday was caused by congestive heart failure, his son, John Mankiewicz, told the Los Angeles Times.

Don’s father was Herman J. Mankiewicz, the screenwriter behind “Citizen Kane.” His uncle was Joseph L. Mankiewicz, director of “All About Eve” and other classic films, according to The Times.

Don Mankiewicz grew up in Beverly Hills. Early in his TV career, he wrote scripts for the drama series “Playhouse 90.”

While a number of entertainment figures emerged from the Mankiewicz dynasty, Don was drawn to politics and union activism. Active in the Writers Guild of America, he helped gain union representation for quiz-show writers, according to The Times.

“For that, the writers on ‘Jeopardy!’ made him the answer to a question,” his son, John, an executive producer of the political drama “House of Cards,” told The Times.

When guild writers went on strike in 2007 and 2008, Don Mankiewicz, then in his mid-80s, joined them on the picket line.

Don Martin Mankiewicz was born Jan. 20, 1922, in Berlin, where his father was a foreign correspondent. He attended schools in Beverly Hills and graduated from Columbia University in 1942. He left law school there to join the Army, serving in military intelligence in France, Belgium and Germany, The Times reported.

After the war, Mankiewicz was a staff writer for the New Yorker, contributed to other magazines and started working in TV. In 1954, he published the novel “Trial,” which was made into a film starring Glenn Ford and Dorothy McGuire.

Mankiewicz received an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of “I Want to Live!,” a 1958 film about a prostitute falsely accused of murder. It was loosely based on the true story of Barbara Graham, who was put to death in California’s gas chamber in 1955.

Mankiewicz’s survivors include Carol Mankiewicz, his wife since 1972; daughters Jan Diaz and Sandy Perez from his first marriage; son John and daughter Jane from his second marriage; and four grandchildren, according to The Times.

—City News Service

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