Sidney Sheldon

Sidney Sheldon

Sidney Sheldon Sidney Sheldon[1†]

Sidney Sheldon, born Sidney Schechtel on February 11, 1917, in Chicago, was a prominent American writer. He gained early fame on Broadway and in film, winning an Oscar for "The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer" (1947). Sheldon also created successful TV series like "The Patty Duke Show", "I Dream of Jeannie", and "Hart to Hart". Later, he became a best-selling novelist with works like "Master of the Game" and "The Other Side of Midnight". His books, translated into 51 languages, sold over 300 million copies, making him one of the top ten best-selling fiction writers of all time[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Sidney Sheldon, originally named Sidney Schechtel, was born on February 11, 1917, in Chicago, Illinois[1†][2†]. His parents, Ascher “Otto” Schechtel, a jewelry store manager, and Natalie Marcus, were of Ukrainian Jewish ancestry[1†][2†][6†]. Sheldon’s interest in writing manifested early in his life when he sold his first poem for $5 at the age of ten[1†][2†][7†].

During the Great Depression, Sheldon worked various jobs to support his family[1†][6†]. He graduated from East High School in Denver, Colorado, and later attended Northwestern University on a scholarship[1†][2†][7†]. At Northwestern, Sheldon contributed short plays to drama groups[1†][2†][7†]. However, due to financial hardships, he had to drop out after six months to help support his family[1†][6†].

Sheldon enlisted in the military during World War II as a pilot in the War Training Service, a branch of the Army Air Corps[1†]. His unit was disbanded before he was deployed due to a recurring slipped disc[1†].

In 1937, Sheldon moved to Hollywood, where he reviewed scripts and collaborated on a number of B movies[1†]. This marked the beginning of his illustrious career in the entertainment industry[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Sidney Sheldon’s career spanned over several decades and various mediums, including Broadway, Hollywood, television, and novels[1†][2†].

In the 1930s, Sheldon began his career in Hollywood, where he reviewed scripts and collaborated on a number of B movies[1†][2†]. His first screenplay sale was ‘South of Panama’ to a studio for 250 dollars in 1941[1†][2†].

Sheldon’s success on Broadway brought him back to Hollywood. He wrote musicals for well-known MGM Studios and Paramount Pictures[1†][2†]. At one point, he had three of his musicals on Broadway at once: ‘The Merry Widow’, ‘Jackpot’, and 'Dream with Music’[1†][2†]. This success led to his first film, ‘The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer’, which earned him the Academy Award in 1947[1†][2†].

With the rise of television as a popular medium, Sheldon decided to try his luck in it. He created a series called ‘The Patty Duke Show’ and for the next seven years wrote every episode of it[1†][2†]. He also made, produced, and wrote the show ‘I Dream of Jeannie’ using three pseudonyms ‘Mark Rowane’, ‘Allan Devon’, and 'Christopher Gollato’[1†][2†].

After turning 50, Sheldon began writing best-selling romantic suspense novels[1†]. His first novel was ‘The Naked Face’, published in 1969, earning him a nomination for ‘The Best First Writer’ category[1†][2†]. The second novel ‘The Other side Of Midnight’ was published in 1973, topping ‘The New York Times Best Seller’ list[1†][2†]. Sheldon was very particular about the writing and validity of his books[1†][2†].

Sheldon’s legacy includes 18 novels which have sold three hundred million copies, 200 TV scripts, 25 major films along with 6 Broadway plays[1†][2†]. His diverse and successful career in writing has made him one of the top ten best-selling fiction writers of all time[1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Sidney Sheldon’s writing career spanned over multiple decades and mediums, including Broadway, Hollywood, and novels[1†][8†]. Here are some of his main works:

Sheldon’s novels have been translated into 51 languages and have sold over 300 million copies[1†]. His works continue to be enjoyed by readers worldwide[1†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Sidney Sheldon’s works spanned multiple genres, including romance, mystery, and science fiction[11†]. His writing style was punchy, spare, and never florid, with every page furthering the plot[11†][12†]. Sheldon’s novels were known for their reader-savvy style, sex-and-sobs formula, and compelling narratives that kept readers engaged[11†][12†].

One of his notable works, “The Doomsday Conspiracy”, is a hybrid piece of writing that employs the methods of romance, mystery, and science fiction stories[11†]. The novel’s plot is constantly, ingeniously, and relentlessly furthered from the beginning, making it a thoroughly slick job of fiction writing[11†]. The ruses employed by the protagonist to learn witnesses’ names and addresses are sometimes truly ingenious and constitute the most interesting part of Sheldon’s book[11†].

Sheldon’s “The Other Side of Midnight” is another example of his marvellous writing. The novel, published 40 years ago, is very much of its time, yet it’s a time so worth revisiting[11†][12†]. The sordid scheme conceived by the protagonist could give the Byzantines a heads-up[11†][12†].

Sheldon’s works, such as “The Stars Shine Down”, have also been analyzed for their portrayal of gender and ideology[11†][13†]. His novels often featured strong female characters who were put through extreme trials and tribulations but ultimately emerged victorious[11†][13†].

In conclusion, Sidney Sheldon was a master storyteller. His works continue to be studied and enjoyed by readers worldwide for their compelling narratives, engaging characters, and reader-savvy style[11†][12†][13†].

Personal Life

Sidney Sheldon was first married to Jane Kaufman Harding (1945–1946). Regrettably, their marriage lasted less than a year[1†]. Sheldon then married Jorja Curtright, an actress and interior designer. Their marriage lasted for thirty years until her death in 1985[1†][2†][14†]. After Jorja’s death, Sheldon married Alexandra Kostoff, a former child actress and advertising executive, in 1989[1†][2†][14†].

Sheldon’s parents both dropped out of school during their elementary years[1†]. He also suffered from bipolar disorder, which was successfully treated as an adult[1†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Sidney Sheldon’s legacy is vast and enduring. His career spanned over six decades, during which he made significant contributions to the fields of film, television, and literature[1†][2†].

Sheldon’s work in the film industry was recognized with an Academy Award for “The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer” in 1947[1†]. His success on Broadway was acknowledged with a Tony Award for the musical “Redhead” in 1959[1†].

In television, Sheldon created long-running series like “The Patty Duke Show”, “I Dream of Jeannie”, and “Hart to Hart”, delighting millions of viewers over the years[1†].

After turning 50, Sheldon began writing best-selling romantic suspense novels. His novels have been translated into 51 languages and have sold over 300 million copies[1†]. Sheldon is consistently cited as one of the top ten best-selling fiction writers of all time[1†].

Sheldon’s legacy includes 18 novels, 200 TV scripts, 25 major films, and 6 Broadway plays[1†][2†]. His work continues to inspire and entertain readers and viewers around the world[1†][2†].

Sidney Sheldon passed away due to pneumonia in California on January 30, 2007[1†][2†]. He was buried in Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery[1†][2†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Sidney Sheldon [website] - link
  2. Famous Authors - None [website] - link
  3. Pantheon - Sidney Sheldon Biography [website] - link
  4. Simple Wikipedia (English) - Sidney Sheldon [website] - link
  5. IMDb - Sidney Sheldon - Biography [website] - link
  6. Encyclopedia.com - Sheldon, Sidney (1917—) [website] - link
  7. Learn Welfare - Biography - Sidney Sheldon [website] - link
  8. Book Series In Order - Sidney Sheldon [website] - link
  9. FictionDB - Sidney Sheldon Book List [website] - link
  10. Biblio - Just a moment... [website] - link
  11. eNotes - The Doomsday Conspiracy Analysis [website] - link
  12. The Conversation - Other sides of midnight: what we can learn from Sidney Sheldon [website] - link
  13. Academia - Source Text Analysis and Translating Ideology: Investigating "Sexism" in Sidney Sheldon's "The Stars Shine Down" [website] - link
  14. BookBrowse.com - Sidney Sheldon author biography [website] - link
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 4.0; additional terms may apply.
Ondertexts® is a registered trademark of Ondertexts Foundation, a non-profit organization.