Stu Silver, ‘Throw Momma from the Train’ Screenwriter, Dies at 76

Stewart “Stu” Silver, known for penning the screenplay for the dark comedy “Throw Momma from the Train,” died on July 18 in Rochester, N.Y. due to complications from prostate cancer. He was 76.

The comedy writer was also an actor, producer, and show creator with several credits on other projects including the shows “It’s a Living” (1980-1989), “Webster” (1984-1989), “Brothers” (1984-1985) and “Good Grief” (1990-1991). He won two CableACE Awards for “Brothers” and “Comic Relief” and Peoples Choice Awards for “Webster.”

Silver was born in Los Angeles on June 29, 1947. He was adopted by Sol and Goldie Silver and raised in Rochester, N.Y. Silver became involved in the arts at an early age, playing in a local folk band The Bridger Wells Trio.

Early in his career, Silver moved to New York City to pursue acting in theater. He performed in both plays and musicals, including “Dance with Me” on Broadway. He was also writing at the same time, which led to his first Hollywood writing job on the sitcom “Soap” (1978-1981), which the WGA has named one of the 101 Best Written TV Series.

Silver wrote the screenplay for the 1987 comedy/crime film “Throw Momma from the Train,” which stars Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal. The film, which was also DeVito’s directorial debut, follows a man who wants his ex-wife dead and a man who wants his overbearing mother dead. The two characters end up in an arrangement in which they try to kill the other person’s target, inspired by Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train,” which is featured in the film. “Throw Momma from the Train” was a box office success and was nominated for several acting awards.

Later in life, Silver moved back to Rochester where he became involved in the local theater and writing communities, participating in workshops and acting in local productions. Back in New York, he was proud to star in a production of a play he wrote called “Ice,” about an infamous ice storm in Rochester. In his free time, he could be found golfing or watching Yankees games. Silver is survived by his son Daniel B. Silver.

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