Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 31: Musical lyricist & composer Alan Jay Lerner, "Gigi," "My Fair Lady," Camelot" was born on this date in 1918...

... he died on June 14, 1986 at the age of 67.

Born and raised in New York City, Alan Jay Lerner, in collaboration with Frederick Loewe, created many of the world's most popular and enduring works of musical theatre for both stage and film. His uncle, Samuel Alexander Lerner, was the founder of the Lerner Stores chain of dress shops.

Despite his success, he was full of self doubt about his ability to write lyrics. He usually spent months on one song and was constantly rewriting them. It took a toll on his personal life: for nearly twenty years he battled an amphetamine addiction and was married eight times. Still, he won three Tony Awards and three Academy Awards, and is inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

He died in June 1986 from lung cancer.

Among his Many Honors:

Academy Award
Best Original Screenplay, 1951 An American in Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay, 1958 Gigi
Best Original Song, 1958 Gigi

Golden Globe
Best Original Song, 1968 Camelot
Best Original Score, 1975 The Little Prince

Tony Award
Best Book of a Musical, 1957 My Fair Lady
Best Original Score, 1957 My Fair Lady and 1974 Gigi

New York Drama Critics
Best Musical, 1947 Brigadoon
Best Musical, 1957 My Fair Lady

Johnny Mercer Award
Lyric Writing, 1985-Lifetime Achievement

My Fair LadyGigi

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