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George Seaton
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Filmmaker
    (April 17, 1911-July 28, 1979)
    Born in South Bend, Indiana
    Birth name was George Stenius
    Director and screenwriter
    Voice of the Lone Ranger for WXYZ radio in Detroit (1933)
    Screenwriter for the films ‘A Day at the Races’ (1937), ‘Charley’s Aunt’ (1941) and ‘The Song of Bernadette’ (1943)
    Directed the film ‘Teacher’s Pet’ (1958)
    Director and screenwriter for the films ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947), ‘Chicken Every Sunday’ (1949), ‘The Country Girl’ (1954), ’The Counterfeit Traitor’ (1962), ‘What’s So Bad About Feeling Good?’ (1968) and ‘Airport’ (1970)
    President of the Screen Writers Guild (1948-49) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1955-58)
    The only play he wrote for Broadway, ‘But Not Goodbye,’ was a flop, closing after 23 performances (1944).
    ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘Airport’ were both nominated for Oscars as Best Picture while he failed to get nominated for Best Director.
    He and ‘Miracle’ co-author Valentine Davies disagreed about whether Kris Kringle was actually Santa (Davies’ position) or a deluded if well-meaning old man (Seaton’s take).
    He claimed he coined the line ‘Hi-yo, Silver!’ because he was unable to whistle for a horse as originally called for in the script.
    He won Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay for both ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘The Country Girl.’
    He was the last person to visit Edmund Gwenn in the hospital, and reported Gwenn’s last words: ‘Dying is hard… but not as hard as comedy.’

Credit: C. Fishel


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