Reginald Rose (December 11, 1920 – April 19, 2002) was an American film and television writer, most widely known for his work in the early years of television drama. He wrote about controversial social and political issues. His realistic approach was particularly influential in the anthology programs of the 1950s.
Rose is best known for his courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men, exploring the members of a jury in a murder trial. It was adapted for a film of the same name, directed by Sidney Lumet and released in 1957.
Rose was born in Manhattan, the son of Alice (née Obendorfer) and William Rose, a lawyer. Rose attended Townsend High School and briefly attended City College (now part of the City University of New York). He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, from 1942-46, where he was promoted to first lieutenant.
Rose married Barbara Langbart in 1943, with whom he had four children. After they divorced, he married Ellen McLaughlin (not the playwright and actress) in 1963, with whom he had two children.
He sold Bus to Nowhere, his first teleplay, in 1950 to the live dramatic anthology program Studio One. They bought his play, Twelve Angry Men, four years later. This latter drama, set entirely in a room where a jury is deliberating the fate of a teenage boy accused of murder, was inspired by Rose's service on a similar trial. The play later was adapted as the 1957 film of the same name, directed by Sidney Lumet.
Rose said about his own jury service: "It was such an impressive, solemn setting in a great big wood-paneled courtroom, with a silver-haired judge, it knocked me out. I was overwhelmed. I was on a jury for a manslaughter case, and we got into this terrific, furious, eight-hour argument in the jury room. I was writing one-hour dramas for Studio One then, and I thought, wow, what a setting for a drama."
Rose received an Emmy for his teleplay Twelve Angry Men and an Oscar nomination for its 1957 feature-length film adaptation. From 1950 to 1960, Rose wrote for all three of the major broadcast networks. In 1961 he created and wrote for The Defenders. The weekly courtroom drama was spun off from one of Rose's episodes of Studio One. The Defenders won two Emmy awards for his dramatic writing.
His teleplay The Incredible World of Horace Ford was the basis for a 1963 episode of the television series The Twilight Zone. It starred Pat Hingle, Nan Martin, and Ruth White. The episode was broadcast on CBS on April 18, 1963, as Episode 15 of Season Four. The theme was how individuals glorify the past by repressing and exercising censorship of the negative aspects: we remember the good while we forget the bad. The teleplay had originally been produced in 1955 as a Studio One episode.
Rose wrote screenplays for many dramas, beginning with Crime in the Streets (1956), an adaptation of his 1955 teleplay for The Elgin Hour. He made four movies with British producer Euan Lloyd: The Wild Geese, The Sea Wolves, Who Dares Wins and Wild Geese II.