Melville Shavelson

TV Program Creator

1917 – 2007


Who was Melville Shavelson?

Melville Shavelson was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author. He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West from 1969 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and 1985 to 1987. He came to Hollywood in 1938 as one of comedian Bob Hope's joke writers, a job he held for the next five years. He is responsible for the screenplays of such Hope films as The Princess and the Pirate, Where There's Life, The Great Lover, and Sorrowful Jones, which also starred Lucille Ball. Shavelson also worked as a writer on Hope's radio show, The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.

Shavelson was nominated twice for Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay—first for 1955's The Seven Little Foys, starring Hope in a rare dramatic role, and then for 1958's Houseboat. He shared both nominations with Jack Rose. He also directed both films.

Other films he wrote and directed include Beau James, The Five Pennies for which he won a Screen Writers Guild Award, It Started in Naples, On the Double, The Pigeon That Took Rome, A New Kind of Love, Cast a Giant Shadow, and Yours, Mine and Ours, which starred Henry Fonda and again with Lucille Ball.


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Apr 1, 1917
Also known as
  • Mel Shavelson
  • Shavelson and Josefsberg
  • United States of America
  • Cornell University
Aug 8, 2007
Studio City

on July 23, 2013