Screenwriter Aleen Leslie dies at 101


Aleen Leslie, a screenwriter, novelist, playwright and vintage radio writer-producer, died of natural causes in her Beverly Hills home on Feb. 2, three days shy of her 102nd birthday.

Leslie was a member of the Writers Guild since 1938 and was its oldest member. She served a six-month term as vp of the Screen Writers Guild just before it became the Writers Guild of America in the early 1950s.

Leslie wrote for the Pittsburgh Press, then began in the business writing two-reelers for the Three Stooges at Universal. A rare female screenwriter in her day, she ultimately worked at every studio in Hollywood and wound up with 19 credited movies to her name.

Those credits include "The Doctor Takes a Wife" (1940) with Ray Milland and Loretta Young; "Father Was a Fullback" (1949) with Fred MacMurray, Maureen O'Hara and Natalie Wood; and "Father Is a Bachelor" (1950) with William Holden. She also wrote for several pics in the "Henry Aldrich" series of the 1940s that starred Jimmy Lydon.

Also in the '40s, Leslie created the radio show "A Date With Judy" for actress Helen Mack, who decided she was too old to play a teenager and so directed the broadcasts while Leslie wrote and produced them.

"A Date With Judy" became a 1948 feature film starring Elizabeth Taylor and also had a run on television.

Leslie wrote two novels, "The Scent of the Roses" and "The Windfall," and a multitude of plays, some produced at the Pasadena Playhouse and others in New York and San Francisco.

In addition, she was the "star" of her daughter Diane Leslie's 1999 novel, "Fleur De Leigh's Life of Crime," which remained on the Los Angeles Times' best-seller list for 28 weeks.

Leslie was married to entertainment attorney Jacques Leslie. In addition to her daughter, Leslie is survived by her brother, Robert Wetstein; her son, writer Jacques Leslie Jr.; three grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Doctors Without Borders.
comments powered by Disqus