Betty Comden Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (6)  | Personal Quotes (6)

Overview (3)

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (heart failure)
Birth NameElizabeth Cohen

Mini Bio (1)

Songwriter ("New York, New York", "Lonely Town", "The Party's Over", "Just in Time"), author and actress. educated at New York University with a Bachelor of Science degree. While a student, she acted with the Washington Square Players. She was a member of the Revuers, a night club act which also included Judy Holliday and Adolph Green. She wrote the Broadway stage scores for "Wonderful Town" (which garnered a Tony award from the NY Drama Critics in 1953), "Peter Pan", and "Do Re Mi". She was also the co-librettist for "On The Town", "Billion Dollar Baby", "Two in the Aisle", "Bells Are Ringing", "Say, Darling", "Subways Are For Sleeping", and "Fade Out - Fade In". She appeared with Adolph Green on stage in "A Party", and on television. Joining ASCAP in 1945, her chief lyrics, libretto and screenplay collaborator was Adolph Green, and her chief musical collaborators were Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne, Morton Gould, and Andre Previn. Her other popular-song compositions include "I Get Carried Away", "I Can Cook, Too", "Some Other Time", "Lucky to Be Me", "Bad Timing", "Ohio", "A Little Bit in Love", "It's Love", "A Quiet Girl", "The French Lesson", "If You Hadn't But You Did", "Give a Little, Get a Little", "There Never Was a Baby Like My Baby", "Long Before I Knew You", "Never-Never Land", "Something's Always Happening on the River", "Dance Only With Me", "Adventure", "Make Someone Happy", "Fireworks", "Ride Through the Night", "Comes Once in a Lifetime", "I'm Just Taking My Time", "Now", "Fade Out - Fade In", and "Get Acquainted".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Spouse (1)

Steven Kyle (4 January 1942 - 1979) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trivia (6)

Predeceased by her husband, Steven Kyle, and son, Alan.
Daughter Suzanne attended the original Woodstock Music Festival (1969).
Has won seven Tony Awards, always with collaborator Adolph Green: in 1953, lyrics as part of Best Musical win for "Wonderful Town;" in 1968, as Best Composer and Lyricist, with Jule Styne, and lyrics as part of Best Musical win for "Hallelujah, Baby!;" in 1970, book as part of Best Musical win for "Applause;" in 1978, as Best Score, lyrics with music by Cy Coleman, and Best Book (Musical) for "On the Twentieth Century;" and in 1991, as Best Score (Musical), lyrics with music by Coleman, for "The Will Rogers Follies." In addition, the team of Comden and Green received five other nominations: in 1957, book with music by Styne for Best Musical nominee "Bells Are Ringing;" in 1961, lyrics with music by Styne for Best Musical nominee "Do Re Mi;" in 1983, for Best Score, lyrics with music by Larry Grossman, and Best Book (Musical) for "A Doll's Life;" and in 1986, Best Book (Musical) for "Singin' in the Rain," the stage version of their signature film, Singin' in the Rain (1952).
Their 60-year collaboration was such that many believed Betty Comden and Adolph Green, whose musicals won five Tony Awards, were married. Instead, the beautiful music they made together graced the stage and screen, and included the classic Broadway musical "On the Town" and the film "Singin' in the Rain." On Broadway, Comden and Green (the billing was always alphabetical) worked most successfully with composers Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne and Cy Coleman. The duo wrote lyrics and often the books for more than a dozen shows, many of them built around such stars as Rosalind Russell, Judy Holliday, Phil Silvers, Carol Burnett and Lauren Bacall. Among their Tonys, three were for best musical for their shows "Wonderful Town," "Hallelujah, Baby!" and "Applause." The duo received the Kennedy Center honors in 1991.

"It's a kind of radar," Comden once said of her partnership with Green. "We don't divide the work up, taking different scenes. We sit in the same room always. I used to write things down in shorthand. I now sit at the typewriter. Adolph paces more. A lot of people don't believe this, but at the end of the day we usually don't remember who thought up what.".
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1980.
When writing Singin' in the Rain (1952) with Adolph Green at MGM, many studio personnel had been around since the silent days, and their recollections were the source for gags about the perils of early sound filming. One came from costume designer Walter Plunkett, who contributed to the comical scene in Singin' in the Rain (1952) where the actors are shooting an early talking film. Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) taps Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) on the shoulder with her fan but causes a thunderous noise on the soundtrack by disturbing a microphone hidden in Lockwood's clothing. This was based on a similar incident during a film on which Walter Plunkett worked at RKO, Rio Rita (1929) starring Bebe Daniels and John Boles.

Personal Quotes (6)

I remember the first time we were referred to as Comden and Green. I hated it, and not because I hated the team. Far from it. It was Frank Loesser who introduced us that way, and it felt so personal, as if we were objects and always went together with an 'and.'
[on Vincente Minnelli]: Vincente was a highly visual director. It was very important to him where an ashtray was placed; it could not be an eighth of an inch out of the way.
[working with Adolf Green and Jule Styne on the song 'Just in Time'] At one point we were talking to Jule and said, 'Wouldn't it be nice to have something in the show like an old Youmans tune - where there's two notes, but the bass keeps changing and moving under the notes, making different harmonies and moving a melody'. Very simple. Jule went to the piano and started playing a simple thing - da dee dah. He asked if that was what we meant and we said "Absolutely!"... And then he developed it, and it was a tune! Well, we all fell in love with it, but had no idea where it would go. No name, no words. A big hit at parties with Jule singing 'Da dee dah, da dee dah da dee dah'
[on Hollywood] We worked our heads off. It wasn't any swimming pools and mad nights. It was going to the office every day and working. We worked like brutes. Salt mines! All that stuff about 'Oh, yes, you'll get to Hollywood and you'll lead the lush life, and they'll slip your checks under the door' - forget it!
Adolf [Green] and I have never written popular songs you know. We have only written in connection with shows. We've never sat down and said, "Hey, let's write a song called...' and then do it to a title. So it's very hard for us to come up with a kind of song that's possibly going to be a hit. Sometimes, when everything is just working right, you may come up with the right situation, and the right thing for a character, and also come up with a hit. But why that happens, and what those elements are, I don't know exactly. In all these years we've only had three big standards...If you ever come across the secret of what makes one song a hit, and not another - call me. Immediately!
[on Leonard Bernstein] We were very close friends with Leonard. We'd known him forever. When he works on something, he works very much from a base if trying to get an entire concept, or one clue that's going to make the whole score fall into place for him. He thinks in terms of the whole show, and there's a kind of texture to his music that's unmistakably his. Nobody writes for the theatre the way Leonard does. And he never feels that, because he's doing something for the commercial theatre, he is in any sense writing 'down'.

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