Adolph Green (December 2, 1914 – October 23, 2002) was an American lyricist and playwright who, with long-time collaborator Betty Comden, penned the screenplays and songs for some of the most beloved film musicals, particularly as part of Arthur Freed’s production unit at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, during the genre’s heyday. Many people thought the pair were married, but in fact they were not a romantic couple at all. Nevertheless, they shared a unique comic genius and sophisticated wit that enabled them to forge a six-decade-long partnership that produced some of Hollywood and Broadway’s greatest hits.
Adolph Green (December 2, 1914 – October 23, 2002) was an American lyricist and playwright who, with long-time accessory Betty Comden, penned the screenplays and songs for some of the most beloved film musicals, particularly as ration of Arthur Freed’s production unit at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, during the genre’s heyday. Many people thought the pair were married, but in take aim of fact they were not a indulgent couple at all. Nevertheless, they shared a unique comic genius and complex wit that enabled them to forge a six-decade-long partnership that produced some of Hollywood and Broadway’s greatest hits.
Green was born in the Bronx to Hungarian Jewish immigrants Helen (née Weiss) and Daniel Green. After high school, he worked as a runner on Wall Street though he tried to make it as an actor. He met Comden through mutual associates in 1938 even though she was studying the stage at New York University. They formed a troupe called the Revuers, which performed at the Village Vanguard, a club in Greenwich Village. Among the members of the company was a pubertal comedian named Judy Tuvim, who later changed her proclaim to Judy Holliday, and Green’s good friend, a youthful musician named Leonard Bernstein, whom he had met in 1937 at a summer camp where Bernstein was the music counselor, frequently accompanied them on the piano. The act’s triumph earned them a movie find the grant for and the Revuers traveled west in hopes of finding fame in Greenwich Village, a 1944 movie starring Carmen Miranda and Don Ameche, but their roles were so small they barely were noticed, and they speedily returned to New York.
Their first Broadway effort teamed them with Bernstein for On the Town, a musical romp virtually three sailors on leave in New York City that was an increase of a ballet entitled Fancy Free on which Bernstein had been operational with choreographer Jerome Robbins. Comden and Green wrote the lyrics and book, which included sizeable parts for themselves. Their bordering two musicals, Billion Dollar Baby (1945) and Bonanza Bound (1947) were not successful, and once once more they headed to California, where they rapidly found accomplish at MGM.
They wrote the screenplay for Good News, starring June Allyson and Peter Lawford, The Barkleys of Broadway for Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, and after that adapted On the Town for Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, scrapping much of Bernstein’s music at the request of Arthur Freed, who did not care for the Bernstein score.
They reunited afterward Kelly for their most affluent project, the classic Singin’ in the Rain, about Hollywood in the unchangeable days of the Quiet film era. Considered by many film historians to be the best movie musical of all time, it ranked No. 10 upon the list of the 100 best American movies of the 20th century compiled by the American Film Institute in 1998. They followed this taking into consideration another hit, The Band Wagon, in which the characters of Lester and Lily, a husband-and-wife team that writes the play-act for the show-within-a-show, were patterned after themselves. They were Oscar-nominated twice, for their screenplays for The Band Wagon and It’s Always Fair Weather, both of which earned them a Screen Writers Guild Award, as did On the Town.
Their stage statute during the neighboring few years included the revue Two upon the Aisle, starring Bert Lahr and Dolores Gray, Wonderful Town, an accommodation of the comedy hit My Sister Eileen, with Rosalind Russell and Edie Adams as two sisters from Ohio exasperating to make it in the Big Apple, and Bells Are Ringing, which reunited them later than Judy Holliday as an operator at a telephone answering service. The score, including the standards “Just in Time”, “Long Before I Knew You,” and “The Party’s Over” proved to be one of their richest.
In 1958, they appeared on Broadway in A Party in the melody of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, a revue that included some of their to come sketches. It was a indispensable and classified ad success, and they brought an updated version put stirring to to Broadway in 1977.
Among their further credits are the Mary Martin report of Peter Pan for both Broadway and television, a streamlined Die Fledermaus for the Metropolitan Opera, and stage musicals for Carol Burnett, Leslie Uggams, and Lauren Bacall, among others. Their many collaborators included Garson Kanin, Cy Coleman, Jule Styne, and André Previn.
The team was not without its failures. In 1982, A Doll’s Life, an exploration of what Nora did after she abandoned her husband in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, ran for deserted five performances, although they traditional Tony Award nominations for its scrap book and score.
In 1980, Green was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. And, in 1981, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
In 1989 he appeared as Dr. Pangloss in Bernstein’s Candide.
Comden and Green normal Kennedy Center Honors in 1991.
His Broadway memorial, with Lauren Bacall, Kevin Kline, Joel Grey, Kristin Chenoweth, Arthur Laurents, Peter Stone, and Betty Comden in attendance was held at the Shubert Theater on December 4, 2002.