Anne Nichols

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Anne Nichols (November 26, 1891 – September 15, 1966) was an American playwright.

Born in Dales Mill, Georgia, Nichols penned a number of Broadway plays, several of which were made into motion pictures. Her first and most famous production was Abie's Irish Rose, a farce depicting the tumult that arises with the marriage of a young Jewish man and an Irish girl. Abie's Irish Rose was made into a film in 1928 and again in 1946. Nichols sued Universal Studios for making The Cohens and Kellys, a film with a similar plot premise, but the use of stock characters was found to be outside of copyright protection in Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp.

In 1937 Nichols produced Hey Diddle Diddle, a comedy play written by Bartlett Cormack whose setting was a duplex apartment in Hollywood. The play premiered in Princeton, New Jersey on January 21 with Lucille Ball as Julie Tucker, "one of three roommates coping with neurotic directors, confused executives, and grasping stars who interfere with the girls' ability to get ahead." The play received good reviews, but there were problems, chiefly with its star, Conway Tearle, who was in poor health. Cormack wanted to replace him, but Nichols said the fault lay with the character and insisted that the part needed to be reshaped and rewritten. The two were unable to agree on a solution. The play was scheduled to open on Broadway at the Vanderbilt, but closed after one week in Washington, D.C. when Tearle suddenly became gravely ill.[1]

Nichols died from a heart attack while residing at a nursing home in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, at the age of 75.[2]


  1. ^ Brady, Kathleen (2001), Lucille: the Life of Lucille Ball, New York, New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, p. 73-74, ISBN 0-8230-8913-4
  2. ^ Staff. "Anne Nichols Is Dead at 75; Author of 'Abie's Irish Rose'; Play Panned by Critics Ran 5 Years Here and Became Film and Radio Show ", The New York Times, September 16, 1966. Accessed October 24, 2009.

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