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Kanin, Garson (24 November 1912–13 March 1999), author and director, was born in Rochester, New York, one of two sons of David Kanin, a builder, and his wife Sadie Levine Kanin. When Kanin was twelve, the family moved to Brooklyn, where he attended James Madison High School, dropping out in 1929. Before enrolling in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Kanin had his own jazz band (Garson Kay and His Red Peppers), toured as a vaudeville comedian, narrated radio programs, and appeared in summer theater. He graduated in 1933 and was soon receiving good notices for high-energy comedy roles on Broadway. His appearances in the madcap farces ...

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Laurents, Arthur (14 July 1917–5 May 2011), playwright, screenwriter, and director, was born Arthur Levine in Brooklyn, New York. His father, Irving Levine, was a lawyer; his mother, Ada Robbins Levine, a schoolteacher. Arthur graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn in ...

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Muse, Clarence E. (07 October 1889–13 October 1979), actor, producer, and writer of plays and films, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Alexander Muse and Mary Sales. He was educated at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he became interested in music and participated in choral groups; although he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international law in 1911, he immediately embarked on a musical and theatrical career. In 1907 he married Frieda Belle Moore; the marriage was apparently dissolved soon after the birth of their son in 1910....

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Preston Sturges Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1915. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G432-0960).

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Sturges, Preston (29 August 1898–06 August 1959), director, playwright, and screenwriter, was born Edmund Preston Biden in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Edmund C. Biden, a bill collector, and Mary Dempsey, an aspiring musician. His parents soon separated; his mother took him to Paris, where she became close friends with ...