Michael Todd

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b. Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen, 22 June 1907 (1909 is also cited), Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, d. 22 March 1958, Grants, New Mexico, USA. Todd became a theatrical producer in his late twenties presenting…
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Artist Biography by

b. Avrom Hirsch Goldbogen, 22 June 1907 (1909 is also cited), Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, d. 22 March 1958, Grants, New Mexico, USA. Todd became a theatrical producer in his late twenties presenting plays and musicals including Call Me Ziggy (1937), The Man From Cairo (1938) and The Hot Mikado. In the early 40s he produced Star And Garter (1942), Something For The Boys and The Naked Genius (both 1943), and Mexican Hayride (played at the Winter Garden Theatre from January 1944 until March 1945). Another 1944 musical was Catherine Was Great, starring Mae West. In January 1945 came Up In Central Park, book by Herbert Fields, music by Sigmund Romberg and lyrics by Dorothy Fields. The show ran until April 1946. Todd produced Hamlet (1945), The Would-Be Gentleman and January Thaw (both 1946), and in 1948 As The Girls Go. The latter, a lavish musical, had a book by William Roos, music by Jimmy McHugh, lyrics by Harold Adamson; the arranger was Hugh Martin and the choreographer Hermes Pan. The show, which starred Clark and Irene Rich, opened 13 November 1948 and ran for 414 performances with a nine-week hiatus caused by Clark’s illness. In 1950 came Michael Todd’s Peep Show and The Live Wire.

In the mid-40s Todd had also become deeply involved in the introduction of new giant-screen processes Cinerama and Todd-AO. The latter process was used by the Magna Corporation for the film version of Oklahoma! (1955). Ironically, the film was a great success for Todd’s company; years before, seeing the stage show during its pre-Broadway tryout, he had dismissed it: ‘No gags, no gals, no chance.’ Todd also produced Around The World In Eighty Days (1956). In 1957 he married film actress Elizabeth Taylor. Named as Showman Of The Year by the National Association of Theatre Owners, Todd was flying to New York to accept the award when his private plane crashed killing all on board.