Ted Berkman, 92; Screenwriter Co-Wrote ‘Bedtime for Bonzo’

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Ted Berkman, 92, the author of “Cast a Giant Shadow” and a screenwriter whose credits include “Fear Strikes Out” and “Bedtime for Bonzo,” died May 12 of cancer in Santa Barbara.

The Brooklyn-born Berkman, a 1933 graduate of Cornell University, worked as a photo assignment editor at the New York Mirror in the 1930s.

After serving as the Middle East chief of the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, he worked as an ABC radio correspondent in the Middle East.


Berkman’s bestselling “Cast a Giant Shadow: The Story of Mickey Marcus, Who Died to Save Jerusalem,” was a 1962 biography of the Brooklyn-born West Point graduate who served as military advisor to Israel during the 1948 War of Independence.

The 1966 screen adaptation of Berkman’s book starred Kirk Douglas.

Berkman’s 1969 book “Sabra” focused on a dozen native-born Israeli fighters in the 1967 Six Day War.

Among his screen credits are co-writing the story for the 1951 comedy “Bedtime for Bonzo,” starring Ronald Reagan.

Berkman also co-wrote “Fear Strikes Out,” the 1957 screen adaptation of Boston Red Sox outfielder Jimmy Piersall’s book dealing with his mental illness, which starred Anthony Perkins.