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Waldo Salt Edit Profile

lyricist , screenwriter

Waldo Miller Salt was an American screenwriter who was blacklisted by the Hollywood movie studio bosses during the era of McCarthyism.


Salt was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Winifred (née Porter) and William Haslem Salt, an artist and business executive.


He graduated from Stanford University in 1934.


The first of the nineteen films he wrote or participated in writing, was released in 1937 with the title The Bride Wore Red. He joined the American Communist Party in 1938, and was a civilian consultant to the U.S. Office of War Information during World War II. Salt's career in Hollywood was interrupted when he was blacklisted after refusing to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1951. Like many other blacklisted writers, while he was unable to work in Hollywood Salt wrote pseudonymously for the British television series The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Salt was married three times, first to actress Mary Davenport with whom he had two children, actress/writer/producer Jennifer, and Deborah. , first presented in 1992, is awarded at the Sundance Film Festival annually. It is determined by the dramatic jury, and recognizes outstanding screenwriting in a film screened at the festival that year.

See List of Sundance Film Festival award winners for a list of winners.


  • He later won Academy Awards for Midnight Cowboy and Coming Home. After the collapse of the blacklist, Salt won Academy Awards for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium for his work on Midnight Cowboy and Coming Home, and a nomination for Serpico.


  • book

  • Other Work

    • Author: (folk opera) Sandhog, 1955, (screenplays) Midnight Cowboy (Academy award 1969), Serpico (Academy award nomination, Writers Guild award 1973), Coming Home (Academy award 1978).


Married Ambur Dana, 1939 (divorced). Married Mary Davenport, 1942 (divorced). Children: Jennifer, Deborah.

Married Gladys Schwartz, 1968. Married Eve Merriam, October 22, 1983.

William Haslem Salt

Winifred (Porter) Salt

Ambur Dana

Eve Merriam

Gladys Schwartz

Mary Davenport

Jennifer Salt

Deborah Salt