b. Russell McKinley Crouse, 20 February 1893, Findlay, Ohio, USA, d. 3 April 1966, New York City, New York, USA. Crouse’s first important Broadway musical comedy work was as co-librettist for The Gang’s All Here (1931), but it was three years later, when producer Vinton Freedley linked him with Howard Lindsay that his career really took off. This collaboration was for a production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes (1934). Lindsay had previously worked on Porter’s Gay Divorce (1932), but the new show was in difficulties. Freedley’s action was fortuitous, not only for Anything Goes but also for Crouse and Lindsay. The new show, which starred Ethel Merman, was not merely a hit in 1934, it was a hit many times over as revival followed revival in subsequent decades. Crouse and Lindsay’s later collaborations included Red, Hot And Blue! (1936), with music by Porter and Merman in the lead. The pair was teamed on Call Me Madam (1950), with music by Irving Berlin and with Merman again the star. They also wrote the book for Merman’s Happy Hunting (1956), for Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s The Sound Of Music (1959), and for Berlin’s Mr. President (1962). Crouse and Lindsay also worked on dramatic productions, among the most successful being Life With Father (1939) and State Of The Union (1945). He was sometimes credited as Russel Crouse.
Share this page