Will Morrissey

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Will Morrissey (né William James Morrissey; 19 June 1887 – 16 December 1957) was an American lyricist, vaudeville actor, playwright, and theatrical producer principally based in New York City, but also a frequent performer and producer on the West Coast and Chicago.


Among other things, he produced, in 1919, Overseas Review, with music by Richard Whiting and Ray Eagen. Overseas Review was an assorted compilation and partial reunion of vaudevillians in the Armed Forces from the Over There Review performed in the European theatre of World War I.

Morrissey's 1935 production of Saluda, which debuted in The Bronx, was the first show that starred Milton Berle.[1] Morrissey also wrote additional dialog for the 1947 film, Look-Out Sister, an Astor Pictures production. He produced the 1928 radio broadcast of The Morrissey & Miller Night Club Revue. Morrissey played the part of an announcer in the 1952 film, The Story of Will Rogers, a Warner-Bros. production.[2][3][4][5][6] Morrissey worked with Martha Raye, Billy Rose, Jack Oakie, Gracie Allen, and Hugh Herbert.[1]

Some of his early compositions, such as "Please, Oh Please" (1913), credit him as Billy J. Morrissey.


Growing up, Morrissey had studied at the Brooklyn School of Music.[7] Sometime prior to 1905, Morrissey earned a civil engineering degree from the Stevens Institute.[8]


Morrissey was married seven times. As a gag, Billy Rose, without telling Morrissey, once invited Morrissey's seven former wives to an opening of one of Rose's shows.[1] His first two wives Elizabeth Brice (née Bessie Shaler; 1883–1965) and Madgie Miller – were actresses.


  1. ^ a b c "Will Morrissey, Stage Producer, Dies After Show", State Times Advocate December 18, 1957, pg. 24
  2. ^ Notable Names in the American Theatre (new and rev. ed.), 1st edition (1966) ed. by Walter Rigdon, Clifton, New Jersey: James T. White (1976); OCLC 2372945
  3. ^ Who Was Who on Screen, by Evelyn Mack Truitt (born 1931), New York: R.R. Bowker; OCLC 183217823, 427386249
        1st ed. (1974); OCLC 841749
        2nd ed. (1977); OCLC 3168170
        3rd ed. (1983); OCLC 9382291
  4. ^ Who's Who in Hollywood, 1900–1976, by David P. Ragan, New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House Publishers (1976); OCLC 2373022
  5. ^ Who's Who in Hollywood (revised edition; Morrissey is in Vol. 2 of 2), by David P. Ragan, New York: Facts on File(1992); OCLC 21197884
  6. ^ The ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers
        3rd ed. (1966); OCLC 598257, 604233677
        4th ed. (1980); OCLC 7065938, 10721505
  7. ^ "Morrissey 'Never Paid'", by Leonard Lyons, The Independent (Long Beach, California), December 28, 1957, pg. B6
  8. ^ "Regarding the Morrissey", by Richard Sylvester Maney (1892–1968), New York Times, February 2, 1936