Norman Wexler was the Screenwriter responsible for Saturday Night Fever and some other of the most revered films of the 1970’s. Oscar nominated for ‘Joe’ and ‘Serpico’; the former starred Peter Boyle and also launched Susan Sarandon’s career.
Norman had at least two lives that ran side by side. He lied; but he could also be surprisingly truthful, not unlike the protagonist of Saturday Night Fever; he loved his wife and family and yet was persistently unfaithful. He wanted to be part of the Hollywood glamour crowd and yet started fights in the mean streets in order to get his real life dialogue.
Most screen writers lead dull lives. They sit in their studies writing and live their lives through their fictional works. Not so Wexler. He was, if anything, more daring more complex and more dangerous than any of the characters he created. Actors and directors often had a love/hate relationship with him because he was both talented and impossible. This isn’t how Hollywood casts its writers.
Vivid, dramatic and an accident waiting to happen, Norman Wexler’s own life is more interesting than most fictional stories.
The Double Life of Norman Wexler