This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "James Lee Barrett" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
James Lee Barrett
James Lee Barrett.jpg
Born(1929-11-19)November 19, 1929
Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.
DiedOctober 15, 1989(1989-10-15) (aged 59)
Templeton, California, U.S.
OccupationProducer, screenwriter, author

James Lee Barrett (November 19, 1929 – October 15, 1989) was an American author, producer and screenwriter.[1][2]


Barrett was born in 1929 in Charlotte, North Carolina and graduated in 1950 from Anderson University (South Carolina). Prior to his career as a screenwriter, he served in the United States Marines.

His first screenplay (based on his teleplay The Murder of a Sand Flea) was for the 1957 film, The D.I.,[3] which starred Jack Webb as a Marine Corps drill instructor at MCRD Parris Island. Barrett had been on Parris Island as a recruit in 1950[4] and served in the Korean War.[5][6]

Barrett, along with Peter Udell and Phillip Rose won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Shenandoah,[7] which was based on his 1965 film by the same name, which starred James Stewart.

Other notable works written by Barrett include the 1965 epic film The Greatest Story Ever Told, Smokey and the Bandit, The Green Berets, Bandolero! and co-writing On the Beach. Barrett also scripted a made-for-TV remake of The Defiant Ones (which starred Carl Weathers and Robert Urich in the Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis roles), and adapted the 1967 movie In the Heat of the Night for a weekly series. (The show starred Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins, in the Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier roles.) Barrett wrote and produced ...tick...tick...tick..., a similarly themed Southern crime drama starring Jim Brown and George Kennedy.


Barrett died in Templeton, California in 1989 of cancer, aged 59.

Select Credits

See also


  1. ^ Sandra Brennan (2006). "James Lee Barrett profile". Actors Biographies. All Media Guide. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  2. ^ "James Lee Barrett profile". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 2007-04-17.
  3. ^ "Sergeant Friday Plays a Drill Instructor". New York Times. June 6, 1957. Retrieved 2010-10-04.
  4. ^ Google Books
  5. ^ p, 45 Group, Gale Contemporary Authors Cengage Gale, 2004
  6. ^ We...the Marines: [1] Anonymous. Leatherneck ; Quantico Vol. 53, Iss. 10, (Oct 1970): 72-75.
  7. ^ "James Lee Barrett Awards". Internet Broadway Database. Archived from the original on 2006-03-19. Retrieved 2007-04-17.