Stirling Silliphant biography

Stirling Silliphant

TV Writer

1918 – 1996

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Who was Stirling Silliphant?

Stirling Dale Silliphant was an American screenwriter and producer. His father, Sterling Silliphant, was a Canadian who immigrated to the United States in 1911, becoming a U.S. citizen in 1916. His mother was Ethel M. Silliphant. He had one brother, Leigh, who was three years younger.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, his family moved to Glendale, California when he was a child. He graduated from Hoover High School, and was educated at the University of Southern California. He may be best known for his screenplay for In the Heat of the Night and co-creating the television series Route 66. Other features as screenwriter include the Irwin Allen productions The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure, adapting both films from previously published novels. In the case of The Towering Inferno, he was tasked with blending two entirely unrelated novels into a single screenplay.

He was a close friend of Bruce Lee, under whom he studied martial arts. Lee was featured in the Silliphant-penned detective movie Marlowe and four episodes of the series Longstreet. Silliphant reportedly recommended Lee for action choreography work. They had been working on a philosophical martial arts script, The Silent Flute, which was to star Lee and James Coburn, and the pre-production even went to the extent of all three going to India on a location hunt.

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Born
Jan 16, 1918
Detroit
Also known as
  • Stirling Dale Silliphant
Siblings
Spouses
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Education
  • University of Southern California
  • Herbert Hoover High School
Died
Apr 26, 1996
Bangkok

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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