Oscar Levant (1906 -1972) was an American concert pianist, composer, actor, and raconteur who eventually became one of the most celebrated and sardonic wits of his era. The son of Russian immigrants, Levant moved from New York to Hollywood in 1928 where he met and befriended George Gershwin. Over the next two decades he composed the music for more than twenty movies. At the height of his popularity, Oscar Levant was the highest-paid concert artist in America. Levant's 1945 recording of “Rhapsody in Blue” remained one of Columbia Records' best-selling albums for decades and the first exposure for many to the Gershwin masterpiece. From the 1930s through the mid-1950s, Levant appeared in a number of feature films, often playing a pianist or composer including major supporting roles in the notable Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), An American in Paris (1951), and The Band Wagon (1953). In 1938 and 1939 Levant worked on Broadway as a conductor (filling in for his brother Harry) on Kaufman and Hart’s The Fabulous Invalid and conductor and composer for The American Way, another Kaufman and Hart production. Levant became well known to a wider audience as a regular panelist on the radio quiz show Information Please in the late 1930s and 1940s. This led to a series of radio and television appearances including, NBC radio's Kraft Music Hall starring Al Jolson, NBC’s Who Said That? and between 1958 and 1960, he hosted a television talk show on KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, The Oscar Levant Show, which later became syndicated. In time, Levant's reputation as a caustic, sometimes provocative humorist eclipsed his former glory as a pianist.