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BILLY ROSE

BIOGRAPHY
 
Billy Rose

An American impresario, theatrical showman and lyricist.

He is credited with many famous songs, notably:

"Me and My Shadow" (1927)
"It Happened in Monterey" (1930)
"It's Only a Paper Moon" (1933)

Billy Rose was a major force in entertainment, with shows, such as Jumbo (1935), Billy Rose's Aquacade, and Carmen Jones (1943), his Diamond Horseshoe nightclub, and the Ziegfeld Theatre influencing the careers of many stars.

Billy Rose was inducted as a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame.

After divorcing comedian Fanny Brice, he had married Olympic swimmer Eleanor Holm.

Billy Rose began his career as a stenographic clerk to Bernard Baruch of the War Industries Board during World War I, and became head of the clerical staff.

Later he became a lyricist. In this role, he is best known as the credited writer or co-writer of the lyrics to "Me and My Shadow", "Great Day" (with Edward Eliscu), "Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight" (with Marty Bloom),"I Found a Million Dollar Baby" (with Mort Dixon) and "It's Only a Paper Moon" (with E. Y. Harburg).

He went on to become a Broadway producer, and a theatre/nightclub owner. In June 1934, he opened The Billy Rose Music Hall at 52nd and Broadway in New York with the first Benny Goodman Orchestra. He produced Jumbo, starring Jimmy Durante.

In 1938, he opened Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, a nightclub in New York City's Times Square in the basement of the Paramount Hotel.

In 1943, he produced Carmen Jones with an all-black cast. An adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera Carmen, the story was transplanted to World War II America by lyricist and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. It was an instant hit.

It was made into a motion picture in 1954, for which Dorothy Dandridge received an Academy Award nomination.

From 1959 until his death in 1966 aged 66, he was also the owner/operator of the Billy Rose Theater.

 
 
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