George Abbott

Abbott, George, 1887–1995, American theatrical producer, director, and playwright, b. Forestville, N.Y. He began (1913) in the theater as an actor and, during a career that spanned eight decades, was celebrated as a coauthor, director, or producer of more than 100 Broadway plays, including The Fall Guy (1925), his first authorial credit; Broadway (1926), his first smash hit; and the popular farce Three Men on a Horse (1935, revival 1969). He produced several musicals by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, notably On Your Toes (1936, revival 1954, 1983) and The Boys from Syracuse (1938). His later successes include Call Me Madame (1950), Wonderful Town (1953), The Pajama Game (1954, film 1957, revival 1973), Damn Yankees (1955, film 1958, revival 1994), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1962, film 1966). From 1948 to 1962 Abbott won 40 Tony awards. Fiorello! (1959), a musical he coauthored with Jerome Weidman, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960. He won a Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1982.

See his autobiography, Mister Abbott (1963).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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