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George M. Cohan

George M. Cohan

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Also Known As: George Michael Cohan Died: November 5, 1942
Born: July 3, 1878 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Providence, Rhode Island, USA Profession: playwright, actor, screenwriter, songwriter, singer, dancer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A brash, jaunty songwriter and performer whose lasting contribution to Americana includes the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "Over There", George M. Cohan virtually brought the Broadway musical into the 20th Century single-handedly. Before him, most musicals and comedies were either imported from Europe or based on European ideals. Cohan invented the wise-cracking, fast-talking show which eventually influenced the screwball comedy films of the 1930s and 40s.

A brash, jaunty songwriter and performer whose lasting contribution to Americana includes the songs "Give My Regards to Broadway" and "Over There", George M. Cohan virtually brought the Broadway musical into the 20th Century single-handedly. Before him, most musicals and comedies were either imported from Europe or based on European ideals. Cohan invented the wise-cracking, fast-talking show which eventually influenced the screwball comedy films of the 1930s and 40s.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Gambling (1934) Al Draper
2.
 The Phantom President (1932) Theodore K. Blair/Peter [Doc] Varney
3.
 Hit-the-Trail Holliday (1918) Billy Holliday
4.
 Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917) George Washington Magee
5.
 Broadway Jones (1917) Broadway Jones
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1890:
First big success, touring as "Peck's Bad Boy"
1894:
Sold first song, "Why Did Nellie Leave Home"
1901:
Broadway writing and acting debut, "The Governor's Son"
1904:
First Broadway hit, "Little Johnny Jones"; Cohan wrote and starred in the musical
1906:
Formed producing partnership with Sam Harris
1917:
Film acting debut, "Broadway Jones"
1919:
Attempted to mediate Actor's Equity Strike
1932:
Talking film debut, "The Phantom President"
1933:
Starred in first non-Cohan play, Eugene O'Neill's "Ah, Wildnerness!"
1941:
Last Broadway show, "The Return of the Vagabond"
1943:
Posthumously portrayed by James Cagney in "Yankee Doodle Dandy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"He is a wit, and it shows in the odd little side twist to his sensitive mouth and in the glow of fun under his long lashes; it lies about his strong, thin jaw and in the set of his head upon his slightly stooped shoulders." --critic Amy Leslie quoted in "The Oxford Companion to American Theater"

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ethel Levey. Vaudevillian, singer, comedian. Married in 1899; divorced in 1907; died on February 27, 1955 at age 72.
wife:
Agnes Nolan. Actor. Married in 1907; her brother-in-law was Sam Harris, Cohan's partner.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Jerry J Cohan. Actor. Died on August 1, 1917 at age 69.
mother:
Helen Cohan. Actor.
sister:
Josephine Cohan. Actor. Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1876; married actor Fred Niblo Sr; died in July 1916.
nephew:
Fred Niblo Jr. Actor. Son of sister Josephine; born in 1903; died in 1973.
daughter:
Georgette Cohan.
daughter:
Helen Cohan. Actor.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"George M. Cohan: The Man Who Owned Broadway"

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