Director Delbert Mann Dies at the Age of 87 -- Archive Interview Online
Delbert Mann who helmed "Marty" for television and film died on Sunday. Mann won an Academy Award for the feature film adaptation of Marty (1955) that originated as a "live" television presentation in 1953.
Delbert Mann talked about studying at Yale Drama School and his transition to television following his service in the Air Force during World War II. He spoke of his days during the war, and his further inspiration to pursue theater after seeing various productions at the Old Vic in London as well as realizing the temporality of life. He talked about joining NBC in the summer of 1949 as a floor manager and described working his first show as a director shortly thereafter on the series Theater of the Mind. Mann related how his experiences as a pilot during the war prepared him for television, comparing piloting a B-24 to sitting in the hot seat of a live television show. He spoke in great detail about working with producer Fred Coe and their association on Philco-Goodyear Playhouse, one of the preeminent “live” television anthologies of the day. He described his celebrated production of “Marty,” written by Paddy Chayefsky, originally produced for Philco and later made into an Academy Award-winning feature film. He spoke about several of the actors he worked with in television including Grace Kelly, E. G. Marshall, and Laurence Olivier. Lastly, he discussed several of his most notable made-for-television movies including David Copperfield and All Quiet on the Western Front. The interview was conducted by Morrie Gelman on May 20, 1997.