(Bio as of Septebmer 2009)
A leading playwright, screenwriter, lyricist and director, Morrie Ryskind collaborated on a number of the most celebrated Broadway shows and films of the 1920s and ’30s. With George S. Kaufman he co-wrote the librettos for the stage version of Animal Crackers (1928) then wrote the screenplays for four Marx Brothers films: Cocoanuts (1929), Animal Crackers (1930), A Night at the Opera (1935) and Room Service (1938). Also with Mr. Kaufman, he co-authored the librettos for the Gershwin musicals Of Thee I Sing! (1932 Pulitzer Prize) and Let ’Em Eat Cake (1934). Later that decade, he received Academy Award nominations for his screenplays for My Man Godfrey (1936) and Stage Door (1939). His Broadway credits also included the librettos for Strike Up the Band (1930, music by George Gershwin, lyrics by Ira Gershwin) and Louisiana Purchase (1941, music and lyrics by Irving Berlin). During the 1940s and ’50s Mr. Ryskind became a political columnist for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
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