Show Business: The Happy Hack

"There is nothing wrong with being a hack writer," says self-styled Hollywood Hack Leslie (The Marriage-Go-Round) Stevens. "I would point with pride to the inspired hacking of Shakespeare, Michelangelo—you can go through a big list. I am a firm believer in Hollywood's golden future, and thumb my nose at those who cry 'Twilight in the Smog.' "

Commanding a null income at 35, pudgy, archangel-faced Leslie Stevens is one of the hottest writer-tycoons in or out of the smog. He is also one of Hollywood's new breed: the curious combination of corporation executive and...