William McGuire

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b. William Anthony McGuire, 9 July 1881, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 16 September 1940, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. McGuire started his professional career as a journalist but began writing…
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Artist Biography by

b. William Anthony McGuire, 9 July 1881, Chicago, Illinois, USA, d. 16 September 1940, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA. McGuire started his professional career as a journalist but began writing sketches for musicals and revues, including Frivolities Of 1920. His potential was noticed by Florenz Ziegfeld who invited him to write the libretto for Kid Boots (1923), a show featuring the highly popular entertainer Eddie Cantor. For the rest of the decade McGuire remained closely associated with Ziegfeld, providing material for the 1924 edition of the producer’s Ziegfeld Follies as well No Foolin’ (1926). He also worked on Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart’s Betsy (1926), but then moved up several steps to both write the libretto for and direct Rosalie, which starred Marilyn Miller, Rudolph Friml’s The Three Musketeers and Whoopee!, another Cantor show. All three of these shows were in 1928 and although acclaimed and profitable they marked the end of his success. Either through exhaustion or a possibly related drink problem, or a combination of the two, McGuire’s work during the following few years was poor. After Show Girl (1929) and Ripples And Smiles (both 1930), which were flops, he bowed out of directing for the stage. He did not entirely sever his links either with Broadway or Ziegfeld, however, and in 1936 wrote the screenplay for The Great Ziegfeld for which he was nominated unsuccessfully for an Oscar.