Peter Viertel (pictured below with his wife Deborah Kerr) was born on this day in history, Nov. 16, 1920.
He published his first novel, “The Canyon,” at age 19.
After attending Dartmouth and the University of California, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.
He served in World War II, first in the Pacific Theater and later with the OSS in Europe.
The OSS, or Office of Strategic Services, was the predecessor of the CIA.
He is best known for working on scripts for films including Alfred Hitchcock’s “Saboteur” and the adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” and “The Old Man and the Sea,” as well as C.S. Forester’s “The African Queen.”
He would use the latter experience as the inspiration for his novel, “White Hunter, Black Heart,” published in 1953 and adapted for the Clint Eastwood film of the same name in 1990.
In 1992, Viertel published his memoir, “Dangerous Friends: At Large with Huston and Hemingway in the Fifites,” a book that also includes stories of his time with Orson Welles,