|Who is it?||Writer, Director, Miscellaneous Crew|
|Birth Day||November 24, 1912|
|Birth Place||Rochester, New York, United States|
|Age||108 YEARS OLD|
|Died On||March 13, 1999(1999-03-13) (aged 86)\nManhattan, New York City, U.S.|
|Spouse(s)||Ruth Gordon (1942-1985; her death) Marian Seldes (1990-1999; his death)|
Garson Kanin began his show Business career as a jazz musician, burlesque Comedian, and actor. He graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and made his Broadway debut in Little Ol' Boy (1933). In 1935, Kanin was cast in a George Abbott play and soon became Abbott's assistant. Kanin made his Broadway debut as a Director in 1936, at the age of twenty-four, with Hitch Your Wagon.
His first film as a Director was A Man to Remember (1938), which The New York Times considered one of the ten best films of 1938. Kanin was twenty-six at the time. Other directing credits include The Great Man Votes (1939), My Favorite Wife (1940), They Knew What They Wanted (1940) and Tom, Dick and Harry (1941).
He was a colleague of Thornton Wilder, who mentored him, and an admirer of the work of Frank Capra. Kanin said "I'd rather be Capra than God, if there is a Capra." Kanin and Katharine Hepburn were the only witnesses to Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh's wedding in California on August 31, 1940. In 1941, he and Katharine Hepburn worked with his brother Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr., on the early drafts of what would become Woman of the Year right before Garson enlisted in the army. He is also quoted as saying, "When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt."
His most famous quote, from his hit play "Born Yesterday," is on a New York City Public Library plaque on a 41st Street sidewalk: "I want everyone to be smart. As smart as they can be. A world of ignorant people is too dangerous to live in."
Kanin was married to his frequent collaborator, Academy-award winning Actress Ruth Gordon, from 1942 to her death in 1985.
In 1945, Kanin directed Spencer Tracy in Tracy's first play in 15 years. Tracy had been through a dark patch personally—culminating with a stay in hospital—and Katharine Hepburn felt that a play would help restore his focus. Tracy told a Journalist in April, "I'm coming back to Broadway to see if I can still act." The play was The Rugged Path by Robert E. Sherwood, which first previewed in Providence, Rhode Island on September 28, to a sold-out crowd and tepid response.
Kanin's 1946 play Born Yesterday, which he also directed, ran for 1,642 performances. Kanin worked, uncredited, on the screenplay of the 1950 film adaptation.
In the 1950s through the 1980s, Kanin adapted several of his stories and plays for television, most notably Mr. Broadway (1964), and Moviola (1980).
His other stage work includes directing The Diary of Anne Frank (1955), which ran for 717 performances, and the musical Funny Girl (1964), which ran for 1,348 performances.
Kanin's best-selling novel Smash (1980), about the pre-Broadway tryout of a musical comedy, has recently been adapted into the television series Smash.
Kanin wrote and directed his last play, Peccadillo, in 1985, the same year he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.
In 1990, Kanin married the celebrated stage Actress Marian Seldes (1928-2014). In 1999, Kanin died at age 86 in Manhattan of undisclosed causes.