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William Marchant
Born May 1, 1923
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Died November 5, 1995
Paramus, New Jersey
Occupation Playwright and screenwriter
Nationality American

William Marchant (May 1, 1923, Allentown, Pennsylvania–November 5, 1995, Paramus, New Jersey) was a playwright and screenwriter. He is best known for writing the play that served as the basis for the 1957 Walter Lang movie, The Desk Set.

Marchant had been a resident of the Actor's Fund home in Englewood, New Jersey at the time of his death. He had earlier lived in the Stanton section of Readington Township, New Jersey, in a home owned by Broadway actress Dorothy Stickney.[1]



Marchant was educated at Temple University in Philadelphia and the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut.




Marchant's play, To Be Continued (which included a 23-year old Grace Kelly in the cast), opened on April 23, 1952 at the Booth Theatre on Broadway, and ran for 13 performances.

Marchant's most notable work, The Desk Set, opened on Broadway on October 24, 1955 at the Broadhurst Theatre and ran for 296 performances with Shirley Booth in the lead role. The play would serve as the source material for a 1957 movie of the same name starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

He translated the French play Les Dames Du Jeudi for Lynn Redgrave and John Clark who premiered it as Thursday's Girls in Los Angeles in 1982.

In 1975, Marchant wrote The Pleasure of his Company, a remembrance of Noël Coward, which was published by The Bobbs-Merrill Company.


As a screenwriter, Marchant wrote several episodes for the Armchair Theatre and Armchair Mystery Theatre, dramatized Louise, a W. Somerset Maugham story for a 1969 BBC Two television production, and worked on two films: Triple Cross and My Lover, My Son.


  1. ^ Gussow, Mel. "William Marchant, 72, 'Desk Set' Playwright", The New York Times, December 20, 1995. Accessed December 1, 2007. "Mr. Marchant had been a resident of the Actors Fund of America Nursing and Retirement Home in Englewood, N.J., before moving to the hospital last year. Before that, he lived in Stanton, N.J., in a house owned by the actress Dorothy Stickney, said Kenneth Stadnik, a neighbor."

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