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Overview for Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser

Frank Loesser



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Also Known As: Francis Henry Loesser Died: July 28, 1969
Born: June 29, 1910 Cause of Death: lung cancer
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Music ... lyricist composer songwriter nightclub performer librettist press agent city editor knit-goods editor process server political cartoonist


Prolific Hollywood wordsmith turned tunesmith who crossed over from Tin Pan Alley to Shubert Alley. As a Hollywood songwriter during the 1930s and 40s, Loesser penned the breezy lyrics for such standards as "The Boys in the Backroom" (with composer Frederick Hollander), "Small Fry" and "Two Sleepy People" (with Hoagy Carmichael), "I Don't Want to Walk Without You" (with Jule Styne) and "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" (with Arthur Schwartz). On Broadway from the late 1940s through the 60s, he displayed a knack for conveying characters and their vernacular by writing both the clever words and tuneful music for classic shows of Broadway's golden age: the 1948 Ray Bolger vehicle "Where's Charley" (filmed in 1952), the colorful 1950 Damon Runyon gambling fantasy, "Guys and Dolls" (filmed in 1955), and the Pulitzer prize-winning satire "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" (1967).

Loesser's musicals which did not make it to Hollywood include the near-operatic "The Most Happy Fella" (1956) and the whimsical "Greenwillow" (1960). One his richest scores was an original musical written directly for film, the charming fictional biography "Hans Christian Anderson" (1952) which introduced such classics as "Thumbelina," "Anywhere I Wander" and "Wonderful Copenhagen."

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