Frances Goodrich & Albert Hackett

Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett were born in 1891 and 1900, respectively. Frances came from a well-to-do family in New Jersey, and Albert was born into a family of New York City artists. Though they came from different backgrounds, they were both drawn to the world of theatre and began their artistic careers as actors. They found moderate success in the field of acting, but Albert and Frances desired to move their careers in different directions. So, they began to write for the stage. It was during their first collaboration, the popular Broadway hit Up Pops the Devil, that the pair got married (Frances’s third marriage!), solidifying their lifelong artistic partnership. They caught the eye of MGM Studios after triumphing on Broadway, and they moved from writing for the theatre to writing for television and film, including contributions to It’s a Wonderful Life. Frances and Albert demonstrated a particular deftness at writing adaptations, such as Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, so producers approached them (after a prodding by playwright Lillian Hellman) when they were searching for writers to create a dramatized version of The Diary of a Young Girl. Two years and eight revisions later, The Diary of Anne Frank premiered on Broadway in 1955, garnering the 1956 Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. They would go on to adapt their own play into a film in 1959. Frances and Albert’s final collaboration was the film adaptation of Peter Shaffer’s play, Five Finger Exercise, which premiered in 1962. The two remained married until Frances’s death in 1984.