Don Mankiewicz was a writer best known for writing the film I Want to Live! as well as episodes of several popular television series, including Star Trek and Ironside, the latter of which earned him an Emmy nomination for outstanding dramatic writing.
Based on true events, I Want to Live! starred Susan Hayward as Barbara Graham, a Los Angeles prostitute who was falsely accused of murder and ultimately convicted and executed for the crime. The 1958 film earned Mankiewicz an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay and Hayward an Oscar win for best leading actress. It was adapted as a television movie in 1983.
“Court Martial,” Mankiewicz's episode for the first season of Star Trek, concerned the events surrounding the negligent death of an Enterprise crew member and Captain Kirk’s involvement in the incident. Mankiewicz also wrote the teleplay for the 1967 television movie Ironside, as well as the pilot and four subsequent episodes of the subsequent series, about a wheelchair-bound chief of detectives. He also wrote the first episode for the ABC medical drama Marcus Welby, M.D., starring Robert Young and James Brolin, which earned Mankiewicz his second Emmy nomination for outstanding dramatic writing. His other TV credits included episodes of the series Studio One in Hollywood, Playhouse 90, McMillan & Wife, MacGyver and the NBC miniseries Profiles in Courage, an adaptation of President John F. Kennedy’s book.
The scion of a renowned Hollywood family, Mankieiwicz was the son of Herman J. Mankiewicz, who won an Oscar for co-writing Citizen Kane, and the nephew of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who won Oscars for writing and directing the 1950 best picture winner All About Eve. He graduated from Columbia University and served in the U.S. Army before beginning his career as a staff writer for The New Yorker. He also wrote a novel called Trial, which was made into a 1955 film of the same name.
In 2008 the WGA West honored him with its Morgan Cox Award, for his service to the guild.
Mankiewicz died April 25, 2015, in Monrovia, California. He was 93.