Peter Allen

Singer / Songwriter

Born: 10 February 1944
Died: 18 June 1992 (complications from AIDS)
Birthplace: Tenterfield, New South Wales, Australia
Best known as: Aussie cabaret performer and subject of the musical The Boy From Oz

Name at birth: Peter Allen Woolnough

Peter Allen was a songwriter and exuberant cabaret-style performer who had his greatest fame in the 1970s and 1980s. He was "discovered" in 1964 by Judy Garland, who hired him to perform with her and introduced him to her daughter Liza Minnelli. Allen and Minnelli were married in 1967, but separated in 1970. Later, Peter Allen co-wrote the pop hits "Don't Cry Out Loud" for Melissa Manchester and "I Honestly Love You" for Olivia Newton John, and won an Academy Award for his contribution to the theme from Arthur, Minnelli's hit 1981 movie. (His co-writers on that tune were Burt Bacharach, Carol Bayer Sager and singer Christopher Cross.) Peter Allen's own albums included Tenterfield Saddler (1972), Bi-Coastal (1980) and Not the Boy Next Door (1982). Allen also composed the short-lived Broadway musical Legs Diamond. He died in 1992 from AIDS after giving his final concerts in Sydney, Australia.

Extra credit: Peter Allen's song "I Still Call Australia Home" became a sentimental favorite in his home country and was used in a series of commercials for Australian tourism... A documentary video and a musical stage play, both titled The Boy From Oz, have been based on Allen's life and music; Hugh Jackman played Allen in the 2003 Broadway production of the musical.

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