Trekking from his native Upstate New York to the Big Apple, young Ranald MacDougall ushered at Radio City Music Hall. He then sought out work elsewhere in Rockefeller Center as a staff writer for NBC Radio. In 1944, MacDougall was hired by Warner Bros., where he scripted the Joan Crawford "comeback" feature Mildred Pierce, winning an Oscar nomination in the process. Warners promoted him to producer with the innocuous 1948 domestic comedy The Decision of Christopher Blake. A director from 1955, MacDougall is most fondly remembered for his work on 1959's The World, The Flesh and The Devil, which like many of his later projects tackled delicate racial themes. He was among the dozen or so scriptwriters who tried to make lemonade from the 1963 lemon Cleopatra; within five years of this debacle, he was producing made-for-TV films like Jigsaw (1968) and Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970). Ranald MacDougall was married to actress Nanette Fabray.