George Forrest (author)

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George Forrest
Birth nameGeorge Forrest Chichester Jr.
Also known asChet Forrest
Born(1915-07-31)July 31, 1915
OriginBrooklyn, New York
DiedOctober 10, 1999(1999-10-10) (aged 84)
Miami, Florida, United States
GenresMusical theatre
Occupation(s)Songwriter, lyricist

George Forrest (born George Forrest Chichester Jr., July 31, 1915 – October 10, 1999) was an American writer of music and lyrics for musical theatre best known for the show Kismet, adapted from the works of Alexander Borodin. He was also known professionally at times as Chet Forrest.


Throughout his career Forrest worked exclusively with the composer-lyricist Robert Wright. The pair had an affinity for adapting classical music themes and adding lyrics to these themes for Hollywood and the Broadway musical stage. Wright said that the music was usually a 50-50 "collaboration" between Wright & Forrest and the composer. While both men were credited equally as composer-lyricists, it was Mr. Forrest who worked with the music.

Kismet was one of several works Forrest created with Wright that was commissioned by impresario Edwin Lester for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera (LACLO). Song of Norway, Gypsy Lady, Magdalena, and their adaptation of The Great Waltz were also commissioned by Lester for the LACLO. The LACLO then exported most of these productions to Broadway. Forrest and Wright won a Tony Award for their work on Kismet and in 1995 they were awarded the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award.[1]

He was cremated at Van Orsdel (Northside Chapel) Crematory, Miami.[2]

Film work[edit]

  • (1936) New Shoes (short feature), After the Thin Man, Maytime, The Longest Night, Libeled Lady, Sinner Take All
  • (1937) Bad Man of Brimstone, The Firefly, The Good Old Soak, London by Night, Madame X, Mama Steps Out, Mannequin, Man of the People, Navy Blue and Gold, Parnell, Saratoga, You're Only Young Once
  • (1938) Boystown, Broadway Serenade, The First Hundred Years, The Girl Downstairs, Happily Buried (short feature), The Hardys Ride High, Honolulu, Let Freedom Ring, Lord Jeff, The Magician's Daughter (short feature), Marie Antoinette, Nuts and Bolts (short feature), Our Gang Follies (short feature), Paradise for Three, Snow Gets in Your Eyes (short feature), Sweethearts, Three Comrades, The Toy Wife, Vacation from Love
  • (1939) Balalaika, Florian, Music in My Heart, The New Moon, Strange Cargo These Glamour Girls, The Women
  • (1940) Blondie Goes Latin, Dance, Girl, Dance, Kit Carson, South of Pago-Pago
  • (1941) Cubana, Fiesta, Playing with Music, I Married an Angel, Rio Rita
  • (1955) Kismet, Make Believe Ballroom, Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder
  • (1970) Song of Norway (This film featured adaptations of different music of Edvard Grieg than that of the 1944 Broadway show of the same title.)
  • (1972) The Great Waltz

Hit songs of their day include "The Donkey Serenade" (written with composer Herbert Stothart "based on a theme of Rudolf Friml") from The Firefly, "Always and Always" from Mannequin and "It's a Blue World" from Music in My Heart.


Hit songs of the day include "Strange Music" from Song of Norway; and "Stranger in Paradise", "Baubles, Bangles and Beads" and "And This Is My Beloved" from Kismet.


  1. ^ Robert Hanley (October 12, 1999). "George Forrest, 84, Songwriter For Broadway, Films and Clubs". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 15809-15810). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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