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Fay Kanin
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    (May 9, 1917-March 27, 2013)
    Born in New York City, New York
    Birth name was Fay Mitchell
    Married to Michael Kanin
    Sister-in-law of Garson Kanin
    With Michael wrote the screenplays for ‘Sunday Punch’ (1942), ‘My Pal Gus’ (1951), ‘The Opposite Sex’ (1956), ‘Teacher’s Pet’ (1958) and ‘The Right Approach’ (1961)
    With Michael adapted Akira Kurosawa’s ‘Rashomon’ as a stage play (1959)
    Solo wrote screenplays for the TV movies ‘Tell Me Where It Hurts’ (1974), ‘Hustling’ (1975) and ‘Friendly Fire’ (1979)
    President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (1979-83)
    Having adapted ‘Rashomon’ into a play, she and Michael adapted it back into a film, turning it into the script for Martin Ritt’s ‘Outrage’ (1964).
    She said about collaborating with her husband, ‘The time came when I felt as if we were together 48 hours a day…. It came down to the question of which would survive, the marriage or the writing partnership.’
    During the 1980 Oscar broadcast, announcer Hank Sims introduced her as ‘Mr. Fay Kanin.’
    Her Broadway musical ‘Grind’ was a financial disaster, losing its entire $4.75 million investment (1985).
    At age twelve, she won the New York State Spelling Championship and was presented with a silver cup by then-governor Franklin D. Roosevelt.
    She and Michael Kanin were married for 52 years.
    Her oldest son Joel died of leukemia in his teens.
    She got her start in Hollywood as a script reader, writing one-page summaries for $25 a week.
    She and Michael were blacklisted because she had taken classes at the Actors’ Laboratory Theater (a group considered politically suspect for, among other reasons, accepting students of all races): ‘It was ridiculous, but it was very real, and there was nothing we could do about it..’
    She served on the National Film Preservation Board.

Credit: C. Fishel

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