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Overview for Helen Deutsch
Helen Deutsch

Helen Deutsch



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Also Known As: Died: March 14, 1992
Born: March 21, 1906 Cause of Death: natural causes
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Writer ... screenwriter lyricist theater reporter publicist theater company manager production consultant magazine writer newspaper writer


This award-winning screenwriter of the 1940s, 50s and 60s spent the majority of her career at MGM. A prolific writer who never learned to type but dictated her stories into a Dictaphone, Deutsch turned out more than 20 short stories for magazines and hundreds of newspaper articles as well as several plays and teleplays. She began her career in the theater, first managing the Provincetown Players and working as a publicist, later covering the theater beat for the NEW YORK HERALD-TRIBUNE and THE NEW YORK TIMES and working for the Theater Guild.

Deutsch entered films in 1944, collaborating on the adaptation of Enid Bagnold's novel "National Velvet" which catapulted the young Elizabeth Taylor to stardom. In the same year, she scripted "The Seventh Cross," which starred Spencer Tracy as a refugee from a Nazi death camp. Deutsch's work ranged from espionage fluff ("Golden Earrings" 1947) to epic adventures ("King Solomon's Mines" 1950), psychological melodrama ("I'll Cry Tomorrow" 1955) and musicals ("The Unsinkable Molly Brown" 1964). Her best-loved film is "Lili" (1953), the charming classic about a childlike waif (Leslie Caron) smitten with a womanizing magician and loved by a crippled puppeteer (Mel Ferrer). Deutsch not only wrote the lyrics for the movie's hit song "Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" but later wrote the libretto for "Carnival," the 1961 Bob Merrill Broadway musical based on the film.

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