Stewart Stern had a enviable career in Hollywood for over a quarter century. He was the nephew of Paramount founder Adolph Zukor, and spent much of his childhood at Zukor's Mountain View Farm near Nyack, NY, where he played with his cousin, Arthur Loew Jr, who would later help Stern start his career in Hollywood. But Stern's childhood was far from idyllic; he had a difficult relationship with his emotionally distant parents, which would later shape much of his writing.
Stern wrote the screenplays for Rebel Without a Cause, Sybil, The Ugly American, and Rachel, Rachel, among others. He had unprecedented access as a screenwriter to the sets of his films, and counted some of Hollywood's biggest names - Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Natalie Wood, James Dean - among his friends.