Maurice Rapf

Active - 1936 - 1949  |   Born - May 19, 1914   |   Died - Apr 15, 2003   |   Genres - Drama, Western, Action, Children's/Family, Comedy

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The blacklisted writer who also co-founded the Screen Writer's Guild (later known as the Writer's Guild of America), scribe Maurice Rapf was also a key creative force in shaping the stories of such Disney classics as Song of the South and Cinderella. Born in New York City in May of 1914, Rapf was raised in Hollywood the son of successful film producer Harry Rapf. Following a brief career in front of the camera that ended when he began school, the future writer majored in English at Dartmouth, where he enjoyed watching movies in his free time. With college friends including such Hollywood kids as Budd Schulberg and Jim Goldstone to keep him company, Rapf formed an early collaboration with Schulberg which resulted in 1939's Winter Carnival. Returning to Hollywood upon graduation, Rapf put pen to paper for numerous studios and helped to found the SWG. Though Rapf would later move back east when he was blacklisted for supporting the Communist party and for his union work, the move prompted him to found the Dartmouth Film Society. Subsequently relocating to New York City, Rapf produced and directed numerous industrial films and reviewed films for Life and Family Circle before once again returning to Dartmouth to embark on a successful career as a film teacher. Married to actress Louise Seidel in 1947, the couple would have two children. On April 15, 2003, Maurice Rapf died of natural causes in Hanover, NH. He was 88.

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