Walter Winchell
Overview
Walter Winchell was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 newspaper and radio gossip commentator.
Born Walter Weinschel in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, he left school in the sixth grade and started performing in a vaudeville
Vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

 troupe known as Gus Edwards' "Newsboys Sextet."

His career in journalism was begun by posting notes about his acting troupe on backstage bulletin boards. Joining the Vaudeville News in 1920, Winchell left the paper for the Evening Graphic
New York Graphic
The New York Evening Graphic was a tabloid newspaper published from 1924 to 1932 by Bernarr "Bodylove" Macfadden...

in 1924, and in turn was hired on June 10, 1929 by the New York Daily Mirror
New York Daily Mirror
The New York Daily Mirror was an American morning tabloid newspaper first published on June 24, 1924, in New York City by the William Randolph Hearst organization as a contrast to their mainstream broadsheets, the Evening Journal and New York American, later consolidated into the New York Journal...

where he finally became a the author of what would be the first syndicated gossip column, entitled On-Broadway.

Using connections in the entertainment, social, and governmental realms, he would expose exciting or embarrassing information about celebrities in those industries.
Quotations

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.

Good evening Mr. and Mrs. America, from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let’s go to press.

(variation on above to demonstrate the good neighbor policy, probably) "Good Evening Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and by shortwave to all the ships at sea, let's go to press!"

Encyclopedia
Walter Winchell was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 newspaper and radio gossip commentator.

Professional career

Born Walter Weinschel in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, he left school in the sixth grade and started performing in a vaudeville
Vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

 troupe known as Gus Edwards' "Newsboys Sextet."

His career in journalism was begun by posting notes about his acting troupe on backstage bulletin boards. Joining the Vaudeville News in 1920, Winchell left the paper for the Evening Graphic
New York Graphic
The New York Evening Graphic was a tabloid newspaper published from 1924 to 1932 by Bernarr "Bodylove" Macfadden...

in 1924, and in turn was hired on June 10, 1929 by the New York Daily Mirror
New York Daily Mirror
The New York Daily Mirror was an American morning tabloid newspaper first published on June 24, 1924, in New York City by the William Randolph Hearst organization as a contrast to their mainstream broadsheets, the Evening Journal and New York American, later consolidated into the New York Journal...

where he finally became a the author of what would be the first syndicated gossip column, entitled On-Broadway.

Using connections in the entertainment, social, and governmental realms, he would expose exciting or embarrassing information about celebrities in those industries. This caused him to become very feared, as a journalist, because he would routinely impact the lives of famous or powerful people, exposing alleged information and rumors about them, using this as ammunition to attack his enemies, and to blackmail influential people. He used this power, trading positive mention in his column (and later, his radio show) for more rumors and secrets.

He made his radio debut over WABC in New York, a CBS affiliate, on 12 May 1930. (John Dunning, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, p. 708)

By the 1930s, Winchell was "an intimate friend of Owney Madden
Owney Madden
Owney "The Killer" Madden was a leading underworld figure in Manhattan, most notable for his involvement in organized crime during Prohibition. He also ran the famous Cotton Club and was a leading boxing promoter in the 1930s.-Early life:Owen Vincent Madden was born at 25 Somerset Street, in...

, New York's No. 1 gang leader of the prohibition
Prohibition in the United States
Prohibition in the United States was a national ban on the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol, in place from 1920 to 1933. The ban was mandated by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and the Volstead Act set down the rules for enforcing the ban, as well as defining which...

 era," but "in 1932 Winchell's intimacy with criminals caused him to fear he would be 'rubbed out' for 'knowing too much.'" He fled to California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, "[and] returned weeks later with a new enthusiasm for law, G-men
G-Man (slang)
G-Man is a slang term for Special agents of the United States Government. It is specifically used as a term for a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent....

, Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam is a common national personification of the American government originally used during the War of 1812. He is depicted as a stern elderly man with white hair and a goatee beard...

, [and] Old Glory
Old Glory
Old Glory is a common nickname for the flag of the United States, bestowed by William Driver, an early nineteenth century American sea captain....

." His coverage of the Lindbergh kidnapping
Lindbergh kidnapping
The kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was the abduction of the son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The toddler, 18 months old at the time, was abducted from his family home in East Amwell, New Jersey, near the town of Hopewell, New Jersey, on the evening of...

 and subsequent trial received national attention. Within two years, he befriended J. Edgar Hoover
J. Edgar Hoover
John Edgar Hoover was the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States. Appointed director of the Bureau of Investigation—predecessor to the FBI—in 1924, he was instrumental in founding the FBI in 1935, where he remained director until his death in 1972...

, the No. 2 G-man of the repeal era
Repeal of Prohibition
The Repeal of Prohibition in the United States was accomplished with the passage of the Twenty-first Amendment to the United States Constitution on December 5, 1933.-Background:...

. He was responsible for turning Louis "Lepke" Buchalter
Louis Buchalter
Louis "Lepke" Buchalter was a Jewish American mobster and head of the Mafia hit squad Murder, Inc. during the 1930s. After Dutch Schultz' request of the Mafia Commission for permission to kill his enemy, U.S. Attorney Thomas Dewey, the Commission decided to kill Schultz in order to prevent the hit...

 of Murder, Inc.
Murder, Inc.
Murder, Inc. was the name given by the press to organized crime groups in the 1920s through the 1940s that resulted in hundreds of murders on behalf of the American Mafia and Jewish Mafia groups who together formed the early organized crime groups in New York and...

 over to Hoover.

His newspaper column was syndicated in over 2,000 newspapers worldwide, and he was read by 50 million people a day from the 1920s until the early 1960s. His Sunday night radio broadcast was heard by another 20 million people from 1930 to the late 1950s.

Winchell, who was Jewish, was one of the first commentators in America to attack Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

 and American pro-fascist and pro-Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 organizations such as the German-American Bund
German-American Bund
The German American Bund or German American Federation was an American Nazi organization established in the 1930s...

. After World War II, Winchell began to denounce Communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 as the main threat facing America.

During World War II, he attacked the National Maritime Union
National Maritime Union
The National Maritime Union was an American labor union founded in May 1937. It affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations in July 1937...

, the labor organization for the civilian United States Merchant Marine
United States Merchant Marine
The United States Merchant Marine refers to the fleet of U.S. civilian-owned merchant vessels, operated by either the government or the private sector, that engage in commerce or transportation of goods and services in and out of the navigable waters of the United States. The Merchant Marine is...

, which he said was run by Communists. In 1948 and 1949 he and the influential leftist columnist Drew Pearson
Drew Pearson (journalist)
Andrew Russell Pearson , known professionally as Drew Pearson, was one of the best-known American columnists of his day, noted for his muckraking syndicated newspaper column "Washington Merry-Go-Round," in which he attacked various public persons, sometimes with little or no objective proof for his...

 "inaccurately and maliciously assaulted Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 James Forrestal
James Forrestal
James Vincent Forrestal was the last Cabinet-level United States Secretary of the Navy and the first United States Secretary of Defense....

 in columns and radio broadcasts.". Winchell also labeled African-American-French entertainer Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker
Josephine Baker was an American dancer, singer, and actress who found fame in her adopted homeland of France. She was given such nicknames as the "Bronze Venus", the "Black Pearl", and the "Créole Goddess"....

 as a communist after she took him to task for not questioning the racial-discriminatory policies of the Stork Club
Stork Club
The Stork Club was a nightclub in New York City from 1929 to 1965. From 1934 onwards, it was located at 3 East 53rd Street, just east of Fifth Avenue...

 in New York. His relentless campaign against Baker prevented her from getting her visa to enter the US renewed.

In 1948 Winchell had the top rated radio show when he surpassed Fred Allen
Fred Allen
Fred Allen was an American comedian whose absurdist, topically pointed radio show made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the so-called classic era of American radio.His best-remembered gag was his long-running mock feud with friend and fellow comedian Jack Benny, but it...

 and Jack Benny
Jack Benny
Jack Benny was an American comedian, vaudevillian, and actor for radio, television, and film...

.

During the 1950s Winchell favored Senator
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 Joseph McCarthy
Joseph McCarthy
Joseph Raymond "Joe" McCarthy was an American politician who served as a Republican U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in 1957...

, but he became unpopular as the public turned against McCarthy. He also had a weekly radio
Old-time radio
Old-Time Radio and the Golden Age of Radio refer to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the primary home entertainment medium in the 1950s...

 broadcast which was simulcast on ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 television until he ended that employment because of a dispute with ABC executives in 1955.

A dispute with Jack Paar
Jack Paar
Jack Harold Paar was an author, American radio and television comedian and talk show host, best known for his stint as host of The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962...

 effectively ended Winchell's career, signaling a shift in power from print to television.

During this time, NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 had given him the opportunity to host a variety show, which lasted only thirteen weeks. His readership gradually dropped, and when his home paper, the New York Daily Mirror
New York Daily Mirror
The New York Daily Mirror was an American morning tabloid newspaper first published on June 24, 1924, in New York City by the William Randolph Hearst organization as a contrast to their mainstream broadsheets, the Evening Journal and New York American, later consolidated into the New York Journal...

, where he'd worked for thirty-four years, closed in 1963, he faded from the public eye.

He did, however, receive $25,000 an episode to narrate The Untouchables
The Untouchables (1959 TV series)
The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on ABC. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized the experiences of Eliot Ness, a real-life Prohibition agent, as he fought crime in Chicago during the 1930s with the help of a...

on the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

 television network for five seasons beginning in 1959.

Style

Many other columnists, such as Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan
Edward Vincent "Ed" Sullivan was an American entertainment writer and television host, best known as the presenter of the TV variety show The Ed Sullivan Show. The show was broadcast from 1948 to 1971 , which made it one of the longest-running variety shows in U.S...

 in New York and Louella Parsons
Louella Parsons
Louella Parsons was the first American news-writer movie columnist in the United States. She was a gossip columnist who, for many years, was an influential arbiter of Hollywood mores, often feared and hated by the individuals, mostly actors, whose careers she could negatively impact via her...

 in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, began to write gossip soon after Winchell's initial success. He wrote in a style filled with slang and incomplete sentences. Winchell's casual writing style famously earned him the ire of mobster Dutch Schultz
Dutch Schultz
Dutch Schultz was a New York City-area Jewish American gangster of the 1920s and 1930s who made his fortune in organized crime-related activities such as bootlegging alcohol and the numbers racket...

, who confronted Winchell at New York's Cotton Club
Cotton Club
The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem, New York City that operated during Prohibition that included jazz music. While the club featured many of the greatest African American entertainers of the era, such as Fletcher Henderson, Duke Ellington, Adelaide Hall, Count Basie, Bessie Smith,...

 and publicly lambasted him for using the phrase "pushover" to describe Schultz's penchant for blonde women. Some notable Winchell quotes are: "Nothing recedes like success," and "I usually get my stuff from people who promised somebody else that they would keep it a secret."

Winchell opened his radio broadcasts by pressing randomly on a telegraph key, a sound which created a sense of urgency and importance and the catchphrase "Good evening Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press." He would then read each of his stories with a staccato delivery (up to a rate of 197 words per minute
Words per minute
Words per minute, commonly abbreviated wpm, is a measure of input or output speed.For the purposes of WPM measurement a word is standardized to five characters or keystrokes. For instance, "I run" counts as one word, but "rhinoceros" counts as two...

), noticeably faster than the typical pace of American speech. His diction can also be heard in his breathless narration of the Untouchables television series as well as in several Hollywood films.

Winchell feuded with New York radio host Barry Gray
Barry Gray (radio)
Barry Gray was an influential American radio personality, often labeled as "The father of Talk Radio"....

, whom he described as "Borey Pink" and a "disk jerk." When Winchell heard that Marlen Edwin Pew of the trade journal Editor & Publisher
Editor & Publisher
Editor & Publisher is a monthly magazine covering the North American newspaper industry. It is based in New York City. E&P calls itself "America's Oldest Journal Covering the Newspaper Industry" and describes itself on its website as "the authoritative journal covering all aspects of the North...

had criticized him as a bad influence on the American press, he thereafter referred to him as "Marlen Pee-you."

For most of his career his contract with his newspaper and radio employers required them to reimburse him for any damages he had to pay, should he be sued for slander or libel. Whenever friends reproached him for betraying confidences, he responded, "I know — I'm just a son of a bitch."

Personal life

On August 11, 1919, Winchell married Rita Greene, one of his onstage partners. The couple separated a few years later, and he moved in with June Magee, who had already given birth to their first child, a daughter named Walda. Winchell and Greene eventually divorced in 1928. Winchell and Magee would never marry, although the couple maintained the front of being married for the rest of their lives.

Winchell and Magee successfully kept the secret of their nonmarriage, but were struck by tragedy with all three of their children. Their adopted daughter Gloria died of pneumonia
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is an inflammatory condition of the lung—especially affecting the microscopic air sacs —associated with fever, chest symptoms, and a lack of air space on a chest X-ray. Pneumonia is typically caused by an infection but there are a number of other causes...

 at age nine, and Walda spent time in psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

s. Walter, Jr., the only son of the journalist, committed suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 in his family's garage on Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

 night, 1968. Having spent the previous two years on welfare
Welfare
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...

, Winchell, Jr. had last been employed as a dishwasher in Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana, California
Santa Ana is the county seat and second most populous city in Orange County, California, and with a population of 324,528 at the 2010 census, Santa Ana is the 57th-most populous city in the United States....

, but listed himself as a freelancer
Freelancer
A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term. These workers are often represented by a company or an agency that resells their labor and that of others to its clients with or without project management and...

 who for a time wrote a column in the Los Angeles Free Press
Los Angeles Free Press
The Los Angeles Free Press , also called “the Freep”, was among the most widely distributed underground newspapers of the 1960s. It is often cited as the first such newspaper...

, an alternate newspaper published in the 1960s
1960s
The 1960s was the decade that started on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969. It was the seventh decade of the 20th century.The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe...

 and 1970s
1970s
File:1970s decade montage.png|From left, clockwise: US President Richard Nixon doing the V for Victory sign after his resignation from office after the Watergate scandal in 1974; Refugees aboard a US naval boat after the Fall of Saigon, leading to the end of the Vietnam War in 1975; The 1973 oil...

.

Later years

Winchell announced his retirement on February 5, 1969, citing the tragedy of his son's suicide as a major reason, while also noting the delicate health of his Magee. Exactly one year later, she died at a Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

 hospital while undergoing treatment for a heart condition.

Winchell spent his final two years as a recluse at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

. Larry King
Larry King
Lawrence Harvey "Larry" King is an American television and radio host whose work has been recognized with awards including two Peabodys and ten Cable ACE Awards....

, who replaced Winchell at the Miami Herald, observed,

"He was so sad. You know what Winchell was doing at the end? Typing out mimeographed sheets with his column, handing them out on the corner. That's how sad he got. When he died, only one person came to his funeral: his daughter."


(Several of Winchell's former co-workers expressed a willingness to go, but were turned back by his daughter Walda.)

Death

Winchell died of prostate cancer
Prostate cancer
Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. Most prostate cancers are slow growing; however, there are cases of aggressive prostate cancers. The cancer cells may metastasize from the prostate to other parts of the body, particularly...

 at the age of 74. He is buried in Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery in Phoenix
Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix is the capital, and largest city, of the U.S. state of Arizona, as well as the sixth most populated city in the United States. Phoenix is home to 1,445,632 people according to the official 2010 U.S. Census Bureau data...

.

Legacy

Even during Winchell's lifetime, journalists were critical of his effect on the media. In 1940, Time Magazine said St. Clair McKelway
St. Clair McKelway
St. Clair McKelway was a writer and editor for The New Yorker magazine beginning in 1933. He was brought up in Washington D.C., and began his journalistic career as an office boy at the Washington Herald...

, who had written a series of articles about him in The New Yorker, wrote,
the effect of Winchellism on the standards of the press.... When Winchell began gossiping in 1924 for the late scatological tabloid Evening Graphic, no U.S. paper hawked rumors about the marital relations of public figures until they turned up in divorce courts. For 16 years, gossip columns spread until even the staid New York Times whispered that it heard from friends of a son of the President that he was going to be divorced. In its first year, The Graphic would have considered this news not fit to print... Gossip-writing is at present like a spirochete in the body of journalism.... Newspapers... have never been held in less esteem by their readers or exercised less influence on the political and ethical thought of the times.


Winchell responded to McKelway saying, "Oh stop! You talk like a high-school student of journalism."

Despite the controversy surrounding Winchell, his popularity allowed him to leverage support for causes that he valued. In 1946, following the death from cancer of his close friend and fellow writer Damon Runyon
Damon Runyon
Alfred Damon Runyon was an American newspaperman and writer.He was best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era. To New Yorkers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type from the...

, Winchell appealed to his radio audience for contributions to fight the disease. The response led Winchell to establish the Damon Runyon Cancer Memorial Fund, since renamed the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is a not-for-profit cancer research organization focused "discovering the talent to discover the cure." The Foundation states that its goals are to: "identify the best and brightest early career scientists in cancer research, accelerate the translation...

. He led the charity — with the support of celebrities like Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich
Marlene Dietrich was a German-American actress and singer.Dietrich remained popular throughout her long career by continually re-inventing herself, professionally and characteristically. In the Berlin of the 1920s, she acted on the stage and in silent films...

, Bob Hope
Bob Hope
Bob Hope, KBE, KCSG, KSS was a British-born American comedian and actor who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, and in radio, television and movies. He was also noted for his work with the US Armed Forces and his numerous USO shows entertaining American military personnel...

, Milton Berle
Milton Berle
Milton Berlinger , better known as Milton Berle, was an American comedian and actor. As the manic host of NBC's Texaco Star Theater , in 1948 he was the first major star of U.S. television and as such became known as Uncle Miltie and Mr...

, Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, singer, model and showgirl who became a major sex symbol, starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s....

, and Joe DiMaggio
Joe DiMaggio
Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio , nicknamed "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper," was an American Major League Baseball center fielder who played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak , a record that still stands...

 — until his own death from cancer in 1972.

In 1950, Ernest Lehman
Ernest Lehman
Ernest Lehman was an American screenwriter. He received 6 Academy Award nominations during his screenwriting career...

, a former publicity writer for Irving Hoffman of The Hollywood Reporter, wrote a story for Cosmopolitan titled "Tell Me About It Tomorrow". The piece is about a ruthless journalist, J.J. Hunsacker, and is generally thought to be a thinly veiled commentary on the power wielded by Winchell at the height of his influence. It was made into the film Sweet Smell of Success
Sweet Smell of Success
Sweet Smell of Success is a 1957 American film noir made by Hill-Hecht-Lancaster Productions and released by United Artists. It was directed by Alexander Mackendrick and stars Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison and Martin Milner. The screenplay was written by Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman...

, and the screenplay was written by Lehman and Clifford Odets
Clifford Odets
Clifford Odets was an American playwright, screenwriter, socialist, and social protester.-Early life:Odets was born in Philadelphia to Romanian- and Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Louis Odets and Esther Geisinger, and raised in Philadelphia and the Bronx, New York. He dropped out of high...

.

Robert Heinlein introduced the term "winchell" into the American vocabulary, as a term for a politically intrusive gossip columnist.

Winchellism and Winchellese

The term "Winchellism" is named after him. Though its use is extremely rare and may be considered archaic, the term has two different usages.
  • One definition is a pejorative judgment that an author's works are specifically designed to imply or invoke scandal and may be libelous.
  • The other definition is “any word or phrase compounded brought to the fore by the columnist Walter Winchell” or his imitators. Looking at his writing's effect on the language, an etymologist of his day said “there are plenty of … expressions which he has fathered and which are now current among his readers and imitators and constitute a flash language which has been called Winchellese. Through a newspaper column which has nation-wide circulation, Winchell has achieved the position of dictator of contemporary slang.” Winchell invented his own phrases that were viewed as slightly racy at the time. Some of the expressions for falling in love used by Winchell were: “pashing it”, “sizzle for”, “that way, go for each other”, “garbo-ing it”, “uh-huh”; and in the same category, “new Garbo
    Greta Garbo
    Greta Garbo , born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress. Garbo was an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods. Many of Garbo's films were sensational hits, and all but three were profitable...

    , trouser-crease-eraser”, and “pash”. Some Winchellisms for marriage are: “middle-aisle it”, “altar it”, “handcuffed”, “Mendelssohn March
    Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
    Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March" in C major, written in 1842, is one of the best known of the pieces from his suite of incidental music to Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream...

    ”, “Lohengrin
    Lohengrin (opera)
    Lohengrin is a romantic opera in three acts composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance, notably the Parzival of Wolfram von Eschenbach and its sequel, Lohengrin, written by a different author, itself...

     it”, and “merged”.

Further reading

  • Brooks, Tim and Marsh, Earle, The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows
    The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows
    The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present is a trade paperback reference work by the American television researchers Tim Brooks and Earle Marsh, first published by Ballantine Books in 1979. The ninth edition came out in 2007...

    .
  • Dunning, John. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Neal Gabler, Winchell : Gossip, Power, and the Culture of Celebrity (Vintage: 1995).
  • Mosedale, John (1981). The Men Who Invented Broadway: Damon Runyon, Walter Winchell & Their World. New York: Richard Marek Publishers

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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