Al Hirschfeld

Artist

Born: 21 June 1903
Died: 20 January 2003 (Natural causes)
Birthplace: St. Louis, Missouri
Best known as:

The longtime humorous caricaturist of Broadway stars

Al Hirschfeld spent more than 75 years attending Broadway plays and sketching the stars for The New York Times and other publications. Full of wit and verve, Hirschfeld's distinctively bold, curvy line drawings caricatured stars from Groucho Marx and Ethel Merman through Barbra Streisand and beyond. His first newspaper sketches appeared in the 1920s, and he continued working until his death in 2003, working in a converted barber chair in his New York City studio. After the 1945 birth of his daughter Nina, Al Hirschfeld began hiding her name in his drawings, often tucked into hair or shirt folds. Finding the Ninas became a pastime with Hirschfeld's fans, and after a time he added a number to his signature to indicate how many Ninas each drawing contained.

Extra credit:

Al Hirschfeld received a special Tony Award in 1975, and another in 1984 as the first recipient of the Brooks Atkinson Award... A 1996 documentary about Al Hirschfeld, The Line King was nominated for the Academy Award... Al Hirschfeld was married to German actress Dolly Haas from 1942 until her death in 1994... The former Martin Beck Theater was renamed the Al Hirschfeld Theater in 2003, shortly after the cartoonist's death. It's located in Manhattan's theater district at 302 West 45th Street.

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