Mr. Hackett made his New York stage debut as an actor as a little girl in Lottie, the Poor Saleslady in 1906. He appeared in productions of Peter Pan, Crime, Whoopee and The Nervous Wreck.
With Frances Goodrich, whom he married in 1931, he wrote the plays BRIDAL WISE, UP POPS THE DEVIL, THE GREAT BIG DOORSTEP and THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, for which they received a Tony Award, NY Drama Critics Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK was used as the basis for the musical YOURS, ANNE.
The team also wrote the screenplays for the first three films of the series The Thin Man, Naughty Marietta, Ah, Wilderness, Rose Marie, It's a Wonderful Life, Easter Parade, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers The Pirate, In the Good Old Summertime, Father of the Bride, Father's Little Dividend and The Diary of Anne Frank.