Franklin J. Schaffner: American film director (1920 - 1989) | Biography, Filmography, Facts, Information, Career, Wiki, Life
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Franklin J. Schaffner
American film director

Franklin J. Schaffner

Franklin J. Schaffner
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American film director
A.K.A. Franklin James Schaffner
Was Film director Activist Trade unionist
From United States of America
Field Activism Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 30 May 1920, Tokyo, Japan
Death 2 July 1989, Santa Monica, USA (aged 69 years)
Star sign Gemini
The details (from wikipedia)


Franklin James Schaffner (May 30, 1920 – July 2, 1989) was an American film, television, and stage director. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for Patton (1970), and is also known for the films Planet of the Apes (1968), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Papillon (1973), and The Boys from Brazil (1978). He served as President of the Directors Guild of America between 1987 and 1989.

Early life

Schaffner was born in Tokyo, Japan, the son of American missionaries Sarah Horting (née Swords) and Paul Franklin Schaffner, and was raised in Japan. He returned to the United States and graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he was active in drama. He studied law at Columbia University in New York City but his education was interrupted by service with the United States Navy in World War II during which he served with American amphibious forces in Europe and North Africa. In the latter stages of the war he was sent to the Pacific Far East to serve with the United States Office for Strategic Services.


Returning home after the war, he found work in the television industry with March of Time and then joined the CBS network. He won directing Emmys for his work on the original 1954 CBS teleplay, Twelve Angry Men. Schaffner earned two more Emmy awards for his work on the 1955 TV adaptation of the Broadway play, The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, shown on the anthology series Ford Star Jubilee. He won his fourth Emmy Award for his work on the series, The Defenders.

In the realm of network television, Schaffner also received widespread critical acclaim in 1962 for his groundbreaking collaboration with the First Lady of the United States Jacqueline Kennedy and CBS television's Musical Director Alfredo Antonini in the production of A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy- a television special which was broadcast to over 80 million viewers worldwide. Schaffner's contributions in this production earned him a nomination in 1963 by the Director's Guild of America USA, for its award in the category of Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television.

In 1960, he directed Allen Drury's stage play Advise and Consent. His first motion picture The Stripper was praised, and he later made The Best Man, The War Lord, and The Double Man. They were followed by the critical and commercial hit Planet of the Apes. His next film, Patton was a major success for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director and the Directors Guild of America Award for Best Director. Later works included Nicholas and Alexandra, Papillon, Islands in the Stream and The Boys from Brazil.

Schaffner was President of the Directors Guild of America from 1987 until his death in 1989.

Frequent collaborators

Jerry Goldsmith composed the music for seven of his films: The Stripper, Planet of the Apes, Patton, Papillon, Islands in the Stream, The Boys from Brazil and Lionheart. Four of them were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Schaffner twice worked with actors Charlton Heston and Maurice Evans (The War Lord; Planet of the Apes), George C. Scott (Patton; Islands in the Stream) and Laurence Olivier (Nicholas and Alexandra; The Boys from Brazil).

Personal life

Schaffner married Helen Jane Gilchrist in 1948. The couple had two children, Jennie and Kate. She died in 2007.

Schaffner died on July 2, 1989, at the age of 69. He was released 10 days before his death from a hospital where he was being treated for lung cancer.

Critical perception

Screenwriter William Goldman identified Schaffner in 1981 as being one of the three best directors (then living) at handling "scope" (a gift for screen epics) in films. The other two were David Lean and Richard Attenborough.

In 1991 Schaffner's widow Jean established the Franklin J. Schaffner Alumni Medal (colloquially known as the Franklin J. Schaffner Award), which is awarded by the American Film Institute at its annual ceremony to an alumnus of either the AFI Conservatory or the AFI Conservatory Directing Workshop for Women who best embodies the qualities of the late director: talent, taste, dedication and commitment to quality filmmaking.


The moving image collection of Franklin J. Schaffner is held at the Academy Film Archive.

Awards and nominations

Year Award/Association Category Work Episode Result
1955 Primetime Emmy Award Best Direction Studio One "Twelve Angry Men" Won
1956 Ford Star Jubilee "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial" Won
Best Television Adaptation Won
1961 Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television Playhouse 90 "The Cruel Day" Nominated
1962 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Drama The Defenders Various Won
1963 Directors Guild of America Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Television A Tour of the White House with Mrs. John F. Kennedy N/A Nominated
1964 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Crystal Globe The Best Man N/A Nominated
Special Jury Prize N/A Won
1971 Academy Awards Best Director Patton N/A Won
Golden Globe Awards Best Director N/A Nominated
Directors Guild of America Award Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures N/A Won
1979 Saturn Awards Best Director The Boys from Brazil N/A Nominated
2008 Jules Verne Award Légendaire Award Planet of the Apes N/A Won
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 08 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is Franklin J. Schaffner?
A: Franklin J. Schaffner was an American film director who gained fame for directing the film "Planet of the Apes" in 1968.
Q: When was Franklin J. Schaffner born?
A: Franklin J. Schaffner was born on May 30, 1920.
Q: What are some of Franklin J. Schaffner's notable works?
A: Some of Franklin J. Schaffner's notable works include the films "Planet of the Apes", "Patton", "The Boys from Brazil", and "Papillon".
Q: Did Franklin J. Schaffner win any awards for his work?
A: Yes, Franklin J. Schaffner won several awards throughout his career, including an Academy Award for Best Director for the film "Patton" in 1971.
Q: When did Franklin J. Schaffner pass away?
A: Franklin J. Schaffner passed away on July 2, 1989.
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