Shirley Kassler Ulmer
LOS ANGELES--Shirley Kassler Ulmer, screenwriter, script supervisor and frequent collaborator with her husband, director Edgar G. Ulmer, died here July 6, 2000, of natural causes. She was 86. One such collaboration was in the movie featured in episode 623- THE AMAZING TRANSPARENT MAN, which her husband directed and where she served as script supervisor.
Born Shirley Kassler on June 12, 1914, in New York, her family moved to California in the early 1930s after her banker-father was wiped out in the 1929 stock crash. By the late 1930s, she was working in Hollywood as a script supervisor under the name Shirley Castle and married to independent producer Max Alexander, the nephew of Universal president Carl Laemmle. Then she she met Ulmer and instantly fell in love with him. It would be a costly romance: Her divorce from Alexander prompted Laemmle to use his influence to blacklist the pair in Hollywood. The Ulmers were subsequently forced to find work where they could, producing many of their films at small independent studios.
Despite the hardships, Edgar created a notable body of work and is well-remembered as a master of minimalism. In addition to collaborating with her husband, Shirley wrote a number of screenplays and teleplays -- including scripts the TV series "The Lone Ranger," "Batman," "S.W.A.T.," "CHiPs" and others) and acted as a script supervisor for directors William Wyler, Frank Borzage, Frank Lloyd and Douglas Sirk. She is the co-author of the 1987 tome "The Role of Script Supervision in Film and Television, A Career Guide." Her husband died in 1972 and in recent years, she and daughter Arianne Arden have made many public appearances at screenings of Ulmer's films. A DVD released last year of containing two of his films, "Strange Woman" and "Moon Over Harlem" contains an interview with her.