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Mort Zarcoff Biography

  • Profession: Screenwriter, Associate Producer
  • Born: Jan 1, 0001
  • Died: Jan 1, 0001

Mort Zarcoff has enjoyed 50 years as part of the entertainment industry, first as a successful writer/producer in television, and later as a faculty member and department chairman at USC's Film and Television Department. Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1927, he was originally trained in the science of audiology, and later operated clinics in that field in New York, Chicago, and other cities. He always kept his hand in writing, however, in his spare time, and broke into television by selling a script -- entitled "The Invaders" -- to the series Tales of Tomorrow in 1951. He was persuaded to turn to screenwriting full-time in 1958, and was hired by National Telefilm Associates (aka NTA), where one of his first projects was the syndicated series Assignment: Underwater, on which he served as a writer and associate producer. Zarcoff subsequently worked for Universal Pictures under a long-term contract as an associate producer, on series such as It Takes a Thief and Switch, and made-for-television movies such as She Waits (1971), starring Patty Duke and David McCallum, and as a writer he contributed scripts to series such as Bonanza. In 1970, Zarcoff started receiving invitations from the film and television department at USC to address classes and meetings, and was later offered a faculty position; initially a part-time lecturer, he eventually became a full professor and chairman of the department. In the 21st century, he is an honored and respected senior professional in the entertainment industry, as well as the academic world. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

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