What a good run he had. He won the honorary Oscar a few years ago, well deserved. (((Glenn Ford really needs to get this award while he is still with us!))) Ernest Lehman wrote the screen adaptations for "Sabrina", "Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "Hello, Dolly!", but I will always remember "The Sweet Smell of Success", the best damn movie Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster ever made! What an inspiration!
He became a freelance writer, and his first sale was a profile of entertainer Ted Lewis to Colliers magazine. Freelancing was, he claimed, a "very nervous way to make a living," so Lehman went to work writing copy for a publicity firm specializing in theatrical productions and celebrities.
That experience later informed 1957's "The Sweet Smell of Success," which he scripted with Clifford Odets based on one of Lehman's novellas, "Tell Me About It Tomorrow." Starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, the movie focused on the relationship between a powerful gossip columnist and an unscrupulous press agent and has come to be considered a classic dissection of the underside of show business. In 2002, it served as the basis for a Broadway musical.