William Rose, an American screenwriter who won an Academy Award for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and whose other Hollywood and British film credits include such classic comedies as "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming" and "The Ladykillers," died at his home in England. He was 68 and the cause of his death last week was not reported.
Rose, who also wrote the script for "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," lived on the English Channel island of Jersey. He began his screen writing career with Ealing Studios in London. The 1963 Hollywood extravaganza "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" made him a millionaire. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," a 1967 satire on race relations, earned Oscars for Rose and for its co-star, Katharine Hepburn, a close friend of the writer.
He was nominated three other times for the screen writing Oscar: for "Genevieve" in 1954, for "The Lady Killers" in 1956 and for "The Russians Are Coming" in 1966.
The native of Jefferson, Mo., attended Columbia University, then went to Finland to fight for that country when the Soviet Union invaded in 1939. Rose joined the Canadian army before the United States entered World War II and finished the war a lieutenant colonel.