Marc Connelly

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This article is about the American playwright. For the British historian, see Mark Connelly.
Marc Connelly
Marcconnelly.jpg
photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1937
Born Marcus Cook Connelly
(1890-12-13)13 December 1890
McKeesport, Pennsylvania, USA
Died 21 December 1980(1980-12-21) (aged 90)
New York City, New York, USA
Spouse Madeline Hurlock (1930–1935)
Information
Magnum opus The Green Pastures (1930)
Tall Story (1959)
Works with George S. Kaufman
Awards Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1930)

Marcus Cook Connelly (13 December 1890 – 21 December 1980) was an American playwright, director, producer, performer, and lyricist. He was a key member of the Algonquin Round Table, and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1930.

Biography[edit]

Connelly was born to actor and hotelier Patrick Joseph Connelly and actress Mabel Louise Cook in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He began writing plays at the age of five, and would later become a journalist for the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph until he moved to New York City. In 1919 he joined the Algonquin Round Table.

Connelly had contributed to several Broadway musicals before teaming up with his most important collaborator, George S. Kaufman, in 1921. During their four-year partnership, they wrote five comediesDulcy (1921), To the Ladies (1922), Merton of the Movies (1922), The Deep Tangled Wildwood (1923) and Beggar on Horseback (1924) – and also co-directed and contributed sketches to the 1922 revue The '49ers, collaborated on the book to the musical comedy Helen of Troy, New York (1923), and wrote both the book and lyrics for another musical comedy, Be Yourself (1924).

Connelly received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Green Pastures in 1930. The play, a re-telling of the Old Testament, was a landmark in American drama; boasting the first all-black Broadway cast. He contributed verse and articles to Life, Everybody's, and other magazines.

Connelly was one of the wittiest members of the Algonquin Round Table. He said, "I always knew children were anti-social. But the children of the West Side – they're savage."

In 1968, Connelly published his memoirs, Voices Offstage. Over the years, Connolly appeared as an actor in 21 movies, including The Spirit of St. Louis (1957) with James Stewart.

A film about the Round Table members, The Ten-Year Lunch (1987), won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and featured Connelly, who was the last survivor. The 1994 film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, a fictional account of the group, featured actor Matt Malloy as Connelly.

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