Tue, 08/26/2008

TV Golden Age Writer Tad Mosel has Died

Tad Mosel, one of the group of writers who came to define the Golden Age of Television in the 1950s, has died at the age of 86. Among Mosel's most well-known teleplays were: "The Out-of-Towners" (for Studio One), "The Five Dollar Bill" (for Studio One), and an adaptation of "The Petrified Forest" (for Producers' Showcase). He was Emmy-nominated in 1977 for his work on the miniseries The Adams Chronicles. He received a WGA nomination for his feature film screenplay of Up the Down Staircase.

Mosel won the Pulitizer Prize for drama for the play "All the Way Home" an adaptation of James Agee's A Death in the Family.

Tad Mosel was one of the Archive's earliest interviewees. Click here to view his entire 13-part interview.

"A golden age is a flowering, plain and simple, historically, artistically, it is a flowering. It is not a zenith, it is never been considered a zenith. It is a flowering and that is what television was doing in the fifties, it was flowering. They say we've got a new golden age, well you can't have another golden age, you only get one.... it was a decade of opportunity. Never to my knowledge, at any point in the history of this country was there such a chance for talent. As I said if you could write, you couldn't help but get discovered. Hanging on was another matter, but you could get discovered, same with actors, it used hundreds of actors every week. Never anywhere at anytime was there so much work for creative people. And that's pretty golden, I always say there was gold dust in the air." — Tad Mosel (from part 12 of his Archive interview)

Interview description:
Tad Mosel was interviewed for six-and-a-half hours in Concord, NH. He spoke about the challenges and thrills of writing for Fred Coe and David Susskind on live dramas including The Philco/Goodyear Playhouse, Playhouse 90, and Studio One. He spoke about many of his plays including his first original television play, "Ernie Barger is 50," which appeared on Philco. The interview was conducted by Michael Rosen on October 18, 1997.