Allen, Irwin (1916–1991)

Irwin Allen

Irwin Allen was an American writer, producer, and director in both film and television, responsible for such series as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost In Space, Time Tunnel, and Land of the Giants. Allen began his career in journalism before moving into radio. Work in television followed, as did work as a literary agent (P. G. Wodehouse being among his clients for a while). Later he became involved in the packaging of movies, which inevitably led to film production. His first movie was Double Dynamite (1951), which he co-produced with Irving Cummings, Jr. He won an Oscar for producing The Sea Around Us (1952). His other credits during this period include The Animal World (another documentary feature), The Story of Mankind (1957, one of the worst movies ever made), and The Big Circus, after which he turned to fantasy subjects in both film and television. In the 1970s he produced a number of highly successful disaster movies (The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno), a genre he also exploited to less success in television. His other credits include Five Weeks in a Balloon, City Beneath the Sea, The Swarm, Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, and When Time Runs Out.