Norman Wexler was a talented but troubled man.

Born in New Bedford on August 16, 1926, Wexler was an American screenwriter whose work included films such as 1974's Serpico with Al Pacino, for which Wexler won a Writer's Guild Award. Pacino won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.

Wexler was nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the 43rd Annual Academy Awards for the 1970 film Joe, which starred Peter Boyle and Susan Sarandon.

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Wexler's most impactful work was 1977's Saturday Night Fever, which made Sweathog John Travolta a star, cemented the legacy of the Bee Gees, and launched New Bedford's Tavares' already skyrocketing careers into the stratosphere.

The film's soundtrack, featuring Tavares, won a Grammy Award for Album of the Year.

Wexler received a nomination for a Writers Guild of America Award for Saturday Night Fever.

New Bedford Man's 'Saturday Night Fever' Made John Travolta A Star
Tavares via Facebook

Wexler moved to Detroit when he was young, graduating from Central High School in 1944. He graduated from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts and moved to New York in 1951, where he began a career in advertising.

While in New York, he began writing plays.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Wexler was "arrested and jailed in San Francisco in 1972 for causing a disturbance during a flight there from New York."

"FBI agents said Wexler cursed at flight attendants and passengers and held up a magazine cover featuring President Richard Nixon, saying he would shoot him," reported the paper.

Wexler, who reportedly was diagnosed as manic-depressive, died after suffering a heart attack on Monday, April 19, 1999 at his home in Washington, D.C.

Wexler was survived by two daughters, Erica and Merin, of New York City.

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