I. A. L. Diamond
Ițec Domnici

June 27, 1920
DiedApril 21, 1988(1988-04-21) (aged 67)
Beverly Hills, California, United States
Years active1941–1981
Barbara Ann Bentley
(m. 1945; his death 1988)

(2 children)
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Original Screenplay
1960 The Apartment
NYFCC Award for Best Screenplay
The Apartment
WGA AwardBest Written American Comedy
The Apartment
Some Like It Hot
Love in the Afternoon

I. A. L. Diamond (born Ițec (Itzek) Domnici; June 27, 1920 – April 21, 1988) was a Moldovan–American screenwriter. He collaborated with Billy Wilder on each films.

Life and career

Diamond was born in Ungheni, Iaşi County, Bessarabia, Romania,[1] present day Moldova, was referred to as "Iz" in Hollywood, and was known to quip that his initials stood for "Interscholastic Algebra League", a prize he had won while attending Boys' High School in Brooklyn. Diamond emigrated with his mother and sister, following his father to the Crown Heights area of Brooklyn in the United States at the age of 9. There he studied at the Boy's High School,[1] showing ability in mathematics, competing in the state Mathematics Olympiads in 1936–37 and winning several medals therein.[1] Diamond completed his undergraduate studies at Columbia in 1941. There he studied journalism, publishing in the Columbia Daily Spectator under the pseudonym "I. A. L. Diamond". He was editor of the humor magazine Jester of Columbia, a member of the Philolexian Society, and became the only person to single-handedly write four consecutive productions of the annual revue, the Varsity Show as well as a spare should they need one. After graduating, he abandoned the plan to pursue his master's in engineering at Columbia and accepted a short-term contract in Hollywood. A succession of limited-term contracts ensued, notably at Paramount Pictures, where Diamond worked on projects without ultimately receiving a writing credit. He then moved to Universal Pictures, where in 1944 he worked on his first credited feature script, Murder in the Blue Room. It was a year later, at Warner Brothers, that he achieved his first real success and consequent recognition with Never Say Goodbye in 1946. He worked at 20th Century Fox from 1951 to 1955. He began collaborating with Wilder, working on the film Love in the Afternoon. They later worked on other films, including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment (which won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay),[1] Irma la Douce, Kiss Me, Stupid and The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Diamond had a hit with the 1969 solo adaptation of the play Cactus Flower into the film of the same name.[1] In total, Diamond and Wilder wrote the script for twelve films. Some featured characters engaging in an endless but friendly squabbling, such as Joe and Jerry in Some Like it Hot and Holmes and Watson in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes. Diamond's widow claims that these characters were based on her husband's relationship with Wilder. In 1980, Diamond and Wilder were given the Writers Guild of America's Laurel Award for career achievement in screenwriting. Wilder had previously received the Laurel Award in 1957 for his partnership with Charles Brackett. Diamond died of multiple myeloma on April 21, 1988.[1]


As writer

As associate producer

Award and honors

Academy Awards

Shared with Billy Wilder

Year Category Title Result
1959 Best Adapted Screenplay Some Like It Hot Nominated
1960 Best Original Screenplay The Apartment Won
1966 Best Original Screenplay The Fortune Cookie Nominated

Golden Globe Awards

Shared with Billy Wilder

Year Category Film Result
1972 Best Screenplay Avanti! Nominated

WGA Awards


  1. ^ a b c d e f Bennetts, Leslie (April 22, 1988). "I. A. L. Diamond Is Dead at 67; Won Oscar for 'The Apartment'". The New York Times.