A local treasure celebrates a milestone birthday today: Stewart Stern, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter of “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Rachel, Rachel” and “Sybil” (among other scripts for movies and television) turns 90 today. Stern, who grew up among movie royalty (among his relatives were the co-founder of Paramount Pictures and the owners of the Loews moviehouse chain), began his writing career in the early ’50s and worked for many years in Hollywood before moving to Seattle with his wife more than 20 years ago. He’s a beloved screenwriting teacher who’s inspired many through his years at the University of Washington, Sundance’s Screenwriter’s Lab, and is now at Seattle’s TheFilmSchool. Back in 2003, I had the great pleasure of interviewing him, at his beautiful Madrona home, about being a voting Academy member.
Stern has had a long fascination with “Peter Pan” (at the Port Townsend Film Festival a few years ago, he spoke enchantingly of his childhood, including memories of watching Eva LaGalliene as Peter Pan); in this clip, he speaks to an audience of children and adults at the Virginia Film Festival in 2007 about J.M. Barrie and the 1924 silent movie of “Peter Pan.”
(Should you wish to see Part II of this talk, click here.)
Happy birthday, Stewart — may it be a day, and a year, filled with magic.