Comden, Betty (1915–)

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Comden, Betty (1915–)

American playwright, lyricist, screenwriter, and performer. Born Basya Astershinsky Simselyevitch-Simselyovitch Cohen, May 3, 1915, in Brooklyn, NY; dau. of Leo (attorney) and Rebecca (Sadvoransky) Cohen (teacher); New York University, BS, 1938; m. designer Steven Kyle (d. 1979), Jan 4, 1942; children: Susanna Kyle and Alan Kyle (d. 1990).

Best known for her work with Adolph Green, likely the longest collaboration in American musical theater history, produced librettos, screenplays, and lyrics for Broadway and Hollywood for over 50 years; 1st appeared with the Revuers, a satirical group that wrote and performed topical sketches and songs; with Green, wrote book and lyrics for On the Town (1944) and screenplay and lyrics for the movie classic Singin' in the Rain (1952); for film, also collaborated on Good News! (screenplay, 1947), The Barkleys of Broadway (screenplay, 1949), Take Me Out to the Ball Game (lyrics, 1949), The Band Wagon (screenplay, 1953), It's Always Fair Weather (screenplay and lyrics, 1955), Auntie Mame (screenplay, 1958), and Bells Are Ringing (screenplay and lyrics, 1960); for stage, also collaborated on Wonderful Town (lyrics, 1953), Peter Pan (lyrics, 1954), Bells Are Ringing (book and lyrics, 1956), Say, Darling (lyrics, 1958), Subways Are for Sleeping (1961), Fade Out—Fade In (book and lyrics, 1964), Hallelujah, Baby! (lyrics, 1967), Applause (book, 1970), and On the Twentieth Century (book and lyrics, 1978); also appeared in the successful Off-Broadway revue, A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green (1958).

See also memoirs Off Stage (1995); and Women in World History.

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Comden, Betty (1915–)

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