Stanley Rubin, a writer and producer whose career in movies and TV spanned 50 years, has died at the age of 96. After spending most of the 1940s writing such films as South To Karanga, Lucky Legs, and Mr. Dynamite, Rubin was inspired to move into the new medium of television in 1947, after Columbia Pictures dropped him as a screenwriter.
As Rubin later wrote of TV, “Nobody knew which way it would go, but it was generally agreed that once it got started it would turn out to be a voracious consumer of material. That was provocative to a young, unemployed writer, Also, the idea of getting into something on the ground floor—not just as a writer but perhaps as a producer—excited me with visions of control and ownership.” Toward that end, Rubin contacted another newly unemployed screenwriter, Lou Lantz, and proposed that they collaborate on a new anthology series, a collection of public-domain literary adaptations called Your Show Time. Their script for “The Necklace,” based on a Guy De Maupassant story, aired in the fall of 1948 and had the distinction of winning the first-ever Emmy Award, for “the best film made for tele.”
With his new producer’s credit under his belt, Rubin spent the rest of his career producing for both film and TV. He produced the classic train noir The Narrow Margin (1952), Robert Wise’s Destination Gobi (1952), Otto Preminger’s River Of No Return (1954), and the Audie Murphy Western Destry (1954). He also wrote the Josef Von Sternberg melodrama Macao (1952).
For TV, Rubin produced the series The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Bracken’s World, and The Man And The City, as well as the made-for-TV biopics Babe (1975), starring Susan Clark as the athlete Babe Didrickson, and Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy “Satchel” Paige (1981), starring Louis Gossett, Jr. He also wrote and produced the 1981 TV film Escape From Iran: The Canadian Caper, which told the same story that Ben Affleck dug up 30 years later for the Oscar-winning feature film Argo.
His last producing credits were in 1990, for Tony Scott’s Revenge and Clint Eastwood’s White Hunter, Black Heart.