John Patrick (May 17, 1905 - November 7, 1995) was a US playwright and screenwriter.
Born John Patrick Goggan in Louisville, Kentucky, his parents soon abandoned him and he spent a delinquent youth in foster homes and boarding schools. At age 19, we secured a job as an announcer at KPO Radio in San Francisco, California, marrying Mildred Legaye in 1925. He wrote over one thousand scripts for the Cecil and Sally Show broadcast by NBC between 1929 and 1933. In 1937, Patrick wrote adaptations for NBC's Streamlined Shakespeare series, guest-starring Helen Hayes.
Produced to a tight budget, his first play Hell Freezes Over, directed by a tyro Joshua Logan, had a brief run on Broadway in 1935. However, the credit opened the door for him as a Hollywood scriptwriter.
In 1942, a second play The Willow and I was produced with Martha Scott and Gregory Peck in the staring roles. Before its first night, Patrick had volunteered for the American Field Service providing medical services in support of the British Army fighting World War II. He served with Montgomery's Eighth Army in Egypt and subsequently saw action in India and Burma where the ideas for his next play The Hasty Heart were germinated. Patrick completed the play on the ship that returned him to the US after the war and it proved a great commercial success, being adapted for the screen in 1949, starring Ronald Reagan, and for TV in 1983.
His next two plays, The Curious Savage (1950) and Lo and Behold (1951) fared less well but it was his 1953 stage adaptation of Vern J. Sneider's novel The Teahouse of the August Moon that marked the height of his fame, winning both the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for drama. He adapted the play for the screen in 1956.
His next play, Good as Gold (1957), was less well received and most of the rest of his career was dedicated to a series of successful screenwriting assignments including:
Three Coins in the Fountain (1954);
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955);
High Society (1956);
Les Girls (1957), earning him an award from the Writers Guild of America;
Some Came Running (1958)
The World of Suzie Wong (1960);
The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968).
Following his success with The Hasty Heart, Patrick bought a 65 acre estate called Hasty Hill at Suffern, New York, later moving to Saint Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. His death was adjudged to have been an act of suicide. Patrick is now best remembered for his screen work though his plays remain popular with community theatres.