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March 11, 2008

Malvin Wald

Writer and Former Instructor Passes Away

By James Tella

Malvin Wald (right) and Professor Slavko Vorkapich work with a Movieola, circa 1950.
Writer and former School of Cinematic Arts Writing Professor Malvin Wald, best known for co-writing the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for The Naked City  (1948), died March 6, 2008 in Los Angeles. He was 90.

"What we see all over our TV screens today originated in large part in that movie," said adjunct faculty and film historian Leonard Maltin to the Los Angeles Times. "It was a novelty then, deglamorizing Hollywood's depiction of crime-solving, taking it out of the hands of glamorous or exotic private investigators and following the day-to-day, mundane activities of the police."

Born Malvin Daniel Wald in 1917, he moved west after graduating from Brooklyn College in 1936 and got his start in Hollywood by following in the footsteps of his older brother Jerry, who was a noted producer. Wald started teaching in 1949, became an adjunct professor in 1967, and continued until he retired in 1999.

He is survived by his son, Alan and daughter, Jenifer.