Moss Hart, 1904 - 1961

portrait of Moss Hart


Born: 24 October 1904, New York City
Died: 20 December 1961, Palm Springs, California

Moss Hart was largely raised by an irascible grandfather, bitter about his life in the US compared to his brothers' lives in England but in love with reading, and an aunt who often took him out of school for Thursday matinees, and occasionally set fire to the theater. He worked for several years on "the borscht circuit" as entertainment director at Catskill resorts, then had his first Broadway success with Once in a Lifetime, his first collaboration with George S. Kaufman. They wrote eight plays together over the next decade, mostly hits, including You Can't Take it With You in 1937, the first drama Pulitzer ever given to a musical. Despite being gay, he married Kitty Carlisle in 1946. As a director, his biggest hits were My Fair Lady in 1956 and Camelot in 1961. He had a heart attack before the Broadway opening of Camelot but was able to work with Lerner to make changes after it did open, cutting the script way back from the nearly four and a half hours it took the first night in the tryout at Toronto. The show played 873 times on Broadway, Moss' heart failed about two weeks after it opened.

Biography from Wikipedia and American Society of Authors and Writers

Moss Hart quotes:

Quotes found: 15

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