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Hal Kanter Edit Profile

director , producer , television and film writer

Hal Kanter, American television and film writer, producer, director. Recipient citation City of Hope, Savannah, Jewish War Vets, Beverly Hills Bar, National Council Aging, Variety International, Armed Forces Radio and television Service, Boy Scouts American; contributor to 28 Academy awards.


Kanter, Hal was born on December 18, 1918 in Savannah, Georgia, United States. Son of Albert Lewis and Rose (Ehrenreich) Kanter.


Student in public schools, Savannah, Miami, Florida, Long Beach, New York.


Kanter helped Tennessee Williams turn the play by Williams into the film version of The Rose Tattoo. Kanter was also the creator and executive producer of the television series Julia. Kanter was famous for saying, "Radio is theater of the mind.

TV is theater of the mindless." Kanter started his career peddling jokes to Eddie Cantor for his radio program. Kanter recalls, "I'd listen to his show and say, 'I can write jokes as funny as that,' so I walked from my rooming house to his show, and told the guard, 'Mr. Kanter is here to see Mr.

Cantor, figuring he'd see me because of our names, although his real name was Iskowitch. I was seventeen years old and had the nerve of a burglar." Although Kanter was not hired by Cantor, one of his writers, Hugh Wedlock, Jr., paid Kanter $10 per week to write jokes. Wedlock would then resell Kanter's jokes to Cantor.

Kanter stated, "So I became a ghostwriter to a ghostwriter." Kanter died at his home in Encino, California on November 6, 2011, aged 92.


  • Since 1991, he was regularly credited as a writer for the Academy Award broadcasts.


  • Other Work

    • Newspaper writer, cartoonist. Writer for radio, television and films. Writer, director, producer for television and films.

      Writer, creative consultant. Writer, director, producer (television specialists) for Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, many others. Writer, producer Walt Disney Productions, 20th Century Fox, Universal, NBC, Columbia Broadcasting System, ABC, others, (Recipient Emmy award 1954, 91, 92).

      Author: Snake in the Glass, 1971. Developer, writer, producer (television show) You Can't Take It With You, 1987-1989. Creator, director (stage production) Laughing Matters, 1994.

      Contributor articles, cartoons, columns, essays and criticisms to various publications.


Board directors Friends of University Southern California Libraries With Army of the United States, 1941-1945. Member Writers Guild American-West (citation, Valentine Davies award, Paddy Chayevsky Laurel award), Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (board governors), Writers Guild Foundation, American Federation of television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild American, Producers Guild American (citation), Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters (citation), Publicists Guild American (citation). Clubs: Friars, Masquers, Guardians.


Married Doris Prouder, September 5, 1941. Children: Lisa Kanter Shafer, Donna, Abigail Kanter Jaye.

Albert Lewis Kanter

Rose (Ehrenreich) Kanter

Doris Prouder

Lisa Kanter Shafer Kanter

Donna Kanter

Abigail Kanter Jaye Kanter