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Reginald Rose (December 11, 1920 – April 19, 2002) was an American film and television writer, most widely known for his work in the early years of television drama. Rose's work is marked by its treatment of controversial social and political issues. His realistic approach was particularly influential in the anthology programs of the 1950s. He is best known for writing the courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men.
Rose was born in Manhattan, the son of Alice (Obendorfer) and William Rose, a lawyer. Rose attended Townsend High School and briefly attended City College (now part of the City University of New York) before serving in the U.S. Army in 1942-46, where he became a first lieutenant.
Rose was married twice: to Barbara Langbart in 1943, with whom he had four children, and to Ellen McLaughlin (not the playwright and actress) in 1963, with whom he had two children. He died in 2002 from complications of heart failure.
He sold Bus to Nowhere, his first teleplay, in 1950 to the live dramatic anthology program Studio One, for which he wrote Twelve Angry Men four years later. This latter drama, set entirely in a room where a jury is deliberating the fate of a teenage boy accused of murder, was inspired by Rose's service on just such a trial. The play later was made into the 1957 film of the same name.
IMDb quotes Rose's memories of this experience: "It was such an impressive, solemn setting in a great big wood-paneled courtroom, with a silver-haired judge, it knocked me out. I was overwhelmed. I was on a jury for a manslaughter case, and we got into this terrific, furious, eight-hour argument in the jury room. I was writing one-hour dramas for Studio One then, and I thought, wow, what a setting for a drama."
Rose received an Emmy for his teleplay and an Oscar nomination for its 1957 feature-length film adaptation. Rose wrote for all three of the major broadcast networks from 1950 to 1980. He created and wrote for The Defenders in 1961, a weekly courtroom drama spun off from one of Rose's episodes of Studio One; The Defenders won two Emmy awards for dramatic writing.
His teleplay The Incredible World of Horace Ford was the basis for an episode of The Twilight Zone in 1963 starring Pat Hingle, Nan Martin, and Ruth White. The episode was broadcast on April 18, 1963, on CBS as Episode 15 of Season Four. The theme was how the past is always glorified due to the repression and self-censorship of the negative aspects: we remember the good while we forget the bad. The teleplay had originally appeared as a Studio One episode in 1955.
Rose was a screenwriter of many dramas, beginning with Crime in the Streets (1956), an adaptation of his 1955 teleplay for The Elgin Hour. He made four movies with the British producer Euan Lloyd: The Wild Geese, The Sea Wolves, Who Dares Wins and Wild Geese II.
- The Porcelain Year (1950)
- Twelve Angry Men (1954)
- Sacco-Vanzetti Story (1960)
- Black Monday (1962)
- Dear Friends (1968)
- This Agony, This Triumph (1972)
- "Reginald Rose Biography (1920-2002)".
- Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 2002: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. 2008-10-24. ISBN 9780786452071.
- "Reginald Rose - Biography". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 4 April 2011.