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Kaufman, George S.

George S. Kaufman (1889-1961) was born in Pittsburgh in 1889. During his early career as a reporter and drama critic (eventually he became drama editor of the New York Times), he began to write for the theatre. For 40 years, beginning in 1921 with the production of DULCY, there was rarely a year without a Kaufman play — usually written in collaboration. His only full-length plays written alone were THE BUTTER AND EGG MAN and HOLLYWOOD PINAFORE. A master craftsman of the theatre with a keen eye for comedy and satire, Kaufman was frequently brought in by producers to transform the script of a promising play into that of a hit. He was equally adept in almost all varieties of theatre — social satire, as in DINNER AT EIGHT (with Edna Ferber); revues, as in THE BAND WAGON (with Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz); musicals, as in the 1931 Pulitzer Prize-winning OF THEE I SING (with Morrie Ryskind and George and Ira Gershwin), I'D RATHER BE RIGHT (with Moss Hart, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart) and THE COCOANUTS (with Irving Berlin); and comedies, such as ONCE IN A LIFETIME, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER, and the 1936 Pulitzer Prize-winning YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (all written with Moss Hart), THE ROYAL FAMILY (with Edna Ferber) and THE SOLID GOLD CADILLAC (with Howard Teichmann). With Morrie Ryskind, he also wrote the screenplays for the Marx Brothers' films The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers and A Night at the Opera. Mr. Kaufman also directed some two dozen of his own plays plus THE FRONT PAGE, OF MICE AND MEN, MY SISTER EILEEN and GUYS AND DOLLS. Mr. Kaufman died in New York City in 1961 at the age of 71.

www.georgeskaufman.com

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      The birthday of George S. Kaufman, book writer for THE COCOANUTS and I'D RATHER BE RIGHT. Kaufman was born in 1889.