Dwight Taylor
Dwight Oliver Taylor

(1903-01-01)January 1, 1903
New York City, U.S.
DiedDecember 31, 1986(1986-12-31) (aged 83)
Years active1928–1967
Spouse(s)Marigold Lockhart Langworthy (m. 1929 – 19??)
Natalie Visart
(m. 1946; died 1986)
Parent(s)Laurette Taylor (mother)
Charles A. Taylor (father)
J. Hartley Manners (stepfather)

Dwight Oliver Taylor (January 1, 1903 – December 31, 1986) was an American author, playwright, and film/television screenwriter.[1][2][3][4]


Dwight Taylor[5] was the son of actress Laurette Taylor and her husband, Charles A. Taylor. Dwight Taylor attended Lawrenceville School in Lawrence Township, New Jersey where he began drawing and painting and wrote a book of poetry.[3]

After refusing an opportunity to work as a cub reporter for The New York World, he began his career as a journalist for The New Yorker magazine, serving as one of the first editors for their "Talk of the Town". He began screenwriting for Hollywood films in 1930 and for television in 1953. His first produced play was Don't Tell George[6] (1928). Other plays included such as Lipstick[7] and Gay Divorce.

Taylor's first screenplay was Jailbreak. First National Pictures bought the project in 1929 while it was still in manuscript form and had Alfred A. Cohn[8] and Henry McCarty adapt it to become the 1930 film Numbered Men starring Conrad Nagel and Bernice Claire. Gay Divorce was adapted into a Broadway musical by Cole Porter.

In 1934, RKO Studios, which renamed it The Gay Divorcee to appease the censors, filmed it with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.[2] He was a founding member, and had served one term as president, of the Writers Guild of America, West.[1]


On December 31, 1986, one day before his 84th birthday, Dwight Taylor died of a heart attack at the Motion Picture and Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California where he had resided since 1981, thus achieving a rare feat of being born on New Year's Day and dying on New Year's Eve.

He had been widowed three months earlier by his second wife, former Hollywood costume designer Natalie Visart (born Natalie Visart Schenkelberg; 1910–1986), with whom he had a daughter, Laurel. His first wife was Marigold Lockhart Taylor (née Langworthy; born July 22, 1901 – died 1951?), whom he married on May 25, 1929, and by whom he had three children (Andrew, Audrey, and Jeffrey).[1]







  1. ^ a b c d Tim Page (January 6, 1987). "Dwight Taylor Dies; Playwright, Author, and Screenwriter". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Playwright Dwight Taylor Dies". Lewiston Journal. API. January 5, 1987. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Screenwriter Dwight Taylor; wrote top films for Astaire". The Vindicator. UPI. January 3, 1987. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Dwight Taylor; Wrote Screenplays, Novels". Los Angeles Times. January 3, 1987. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  5. ^
    Dwight Oliver Taylor was born on January 1, 1903, although his year of birth was later inaccurately cited as 1902. It is given as 1903 on his United States passport application (U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 for Dwight Oliver Taylor Passport Applications, January 2, 1906 - March 31, 1925:
    1923 Roll 2244 - Certificates: 279350-279849, 02 May 1923-03 May 1923)
    as well as his mother's petition for naturalization at New York District Court. New York, Naturalization Records, 1882-1944 for Laurette Taylor Manners (Roll 0724), Petition No. 172233; dated September 11, 1930 (in which she, however, shaved three years off her own age, which she gave as 1886); accessed July 22, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Boston on the wire". The New York Times. July 22, 1928.
  7. ^ a b "lans of Brady and Wiman; "Lipstick," by Dwight Taylor, and Weigall Dramatization Added". The New York Times. July 31, 1929.
  8. ^ a b Louella O. Parsons (December 24, 1929). "Lillian Gish Lauds Ann Harding's Work". Rochester Evening Journal And The Post Express. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Jo Mielziner's design contract". New York Public Library. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  10. ^ "To Give Play in Vanderlip Theatre". The New York Times. April 14, 1929.
  11. ^ James Agate (1972). Immoment Toys. Ayer Publishing. pp. 8, 98. ISBN 0-405-08189-8.
  12. ^ F.S.N. (July 13, 1935). "Paris in Spring (1935)". The New York Times. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  13. ^ "Theatre: New Play in Manhattan". Time. November 28, 1938. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2011.
  14. ^ Dwight Taylor (1960). Billie: a play in three acts. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  15. ^ Ernst Hofer (1924). The lariat. Vol. 3. p. 149.
  16. ^ Bookfellows (1923). Flora Warren (Smith) Seymour (ed.). The Step ladder, Volumes 7-8. The Bookfellows. p. 114.
  17. ^ Dwight Taylor (1959). Joy Ride. Putnam. Dwight Taylor, Joy Ride.
  18. ^ A. B. bookman's weekly. Vol. 79. AB Bookman Publications. 1987. p. 297.
  19. ^ Jay Robert Nash (1987). The Motion Picture Guide 1987 Annual: The Films of 1986. The motion picture guide. Cinebooks. p. 366. ISBN 0-933997-15-9.