Ben Mankiewicz is a host of Turner Classic Movies. When he made his TCM debut in September 2003, he became only the second host hired in the network's history. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Mankiewicz graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He began his television career as a producer at WJLA, the ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C., before starting his on-air work as a news reporter and anchor at WCSC, the CBS affiliate in Charleston, SC. He moved south to Miami in 1998 to become a reporter for Barry Diller's innovative start-up station, WAMI-TV, and in 1999 and 2000 he was named Best TV News Anchor in South Florida by the weekly newspaper New Times.
Mankiewicz is from a film family himself. His grandfather was screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (“Citizen Kane”) and great uncle Joseph L. Mankiewicz was a producer and director of “All About Eve”) and the type of films you would see on TCM. His father, Frank Mankiewicz, was longtime president of National Public Radio.
Ben joins us this year to celebrate "The Role of Westerns in Shaping the American Experience" bringing his film experience and love of movies to our panels and screenings. Ben will lead a discussion onThe Image of the American Cowboy: John Wayne and John Ford on how actor John Wayne and Director John Ford influenced the image of the American Western hero. Among the panel members will be Scott Eyman, the author of biographies of both Wayne and Ford; Bob Boze Bell, the Editor/Publisher of True West magazine; and Ed Hulse, Western film historian and the author of Filming the West of Zane Grey. On Saturday night, Mankiewicz, will moderate a discussion after the screening of The Cheyenne Social Club with author Scott Eyman about the film and it’s two stars, who are the subject of Eyman's new book, Hank and Jim: The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart.