Hart, Moss

Hart, Moss, 1904–61, American dramatist, b. New York City, studied at Columbia. His first important play, Once in a Lifetime (1930), marked the beginning of a long collaboration with George S. Kaufman. Among their other successful comedies are Merrily We Roll Along (1934), You Can't Take It with You (1936; Pulitzer Prize), I'd Rather Be Right (1937, written with George M. Cohan), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939), and George Washington Slept Here (1940). Hart also collaborated on musicals with Irving Berlin and Cole Porter, and his most successful musical, Lady in the Dark (1941), was written with Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin. Among his plays, produced between 1941 and 1952, are Winged Victory, Christopher Blake, Light Up the Sky, and The Climate of Eden. Hart also directed several 1940s film comedies and wrote the 1952 screen hit Hans Christian Andersen. In 1956 he returned to Broadway as director of the long-running musical hit My Fair Lady.

See his autobiographical Act One (1959); biography by S. Bach (2001).

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