Charles MacArthur (b. November 5, 1895, Scranton, Pennsylvania; d. April 21, 1956, New York City) was an American playwright and screenwriter. The son of to a Baptist minister, he is best known for his play with Ben Hecht, The Front Page, which has been filmed frequently. It was based in part on MacArthur's experiences at the City News Bureau of Chicago. MacArthur also co-wrote, with Edward Sheldon, a play called Lulu Belle, which was successfully staged in 1926 by David Belasco.
MacArthur was friends with members of the Algonquin Round Table. He shared an apartment with Robert Benchley and briefly dated Dorothy Parker.
His second marriage was to the stage and screen actress Helen Hayes from 1928 until his death. They lived in Nyack, New York. They were preceded in death by their daughter Mary, who died unexpectedly of polio in 1949 at the age of 19. The shock of her death hastened MacArthur's own, according to those who knew him.
Their adopted son James MacArthur is an actor, best known for playing "Danny Williams" on the American television series Hawaii Five-O.
His brother, John D. MacArthur, was an insurance-company owner and executive, and founded the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the benefactor of the "genius awards".