HART, MOSS (1904–1961), U.S. playwright. Born and raised on New York's East Side, Hart wrote his first play when he was 12 and gained early experience as a producer in Jewish clubs. His first success was Once in a Lifetime (1930), a satire on Hollywood written in collaboration with George S. *Kaufman. With Kaufman he went on to write Face the Music (1932), a satire on New York municipal government which became an Irving *Berlin revue; As Thousands Cheer (1933), a revue with music by Irving Berlin; Merrily We Roll Along (1934), a satire on Broadway; and two famous comedies, You Can't Take It With You (1936), which won a Pulitzer Prize, and The Man Who Came To Dinner (1939). On his own, Hart wrote the satirical George Washington Slept Here (1940); the libretto for the musical Lady in the Dark (1941); and The Climate of Eden (1952). Hart's direction of My Fair Lady, the 1956 musical based on Shaw's Pygmalion, was widely acclaimed. Hart's autobiography, Act One (1959), a modest but moving story, was filmed shortly after his death. He was married to Kitty Carlisle *Hart.
J. Gould, Modern American Playwrights (1966), 154–67. add. bibliography: Steven Bach, Dazzler: The Life and Times of Moss Hart (2001).