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Irving Brecher

Biography

Oscar-nominated screenwriter for Meet up with Me in St. Louis who also composed the films Darkness from the Thin Guy (1941), Ziegfeld Follies (1946) and Bye Bye Birdie (1963). He proved helpful for radio before shifting to tv. He was the just writer to obtain sole credit on the Marx brothers film, and in addition composed Bye Bye Birdie. He wedded double and was widowed once. He got an Oscar nomination for composing Match Me in St. Louis, which starred Judy Garland.

Quick Facts


Full Name Irving Brecher
Date Of Birth January 17, 1914
Died November 17, 2008, Los Angeles, California, United States
Place Of Birth New York
Profession Screenwriter
Nationality American
Spouse Norma Brecher, Eve Bennett
Nominations Academy Award for Best Writing Adapted Screenplay
Movies Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, Bye Bye Birdie, At the Circus, Go West, Shadow of the Thin Man, Yolanda and the Thief, Ziegfeld Follies, Sail a Crooked Ship, Du Barry Was a Lady, Somebody Loves Me, Best Foot Forward, Cry for Happy, The Life of Riley, New Faces of 1937, Fools for Scandal, The Heavenly Body
TV Shows The People's Choice
Star Sign Capricorn

  • Facts
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  • Trademarks
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#Fact
1 American radio writer, who became a close friend of Groucho Marx and went on to script two classic Marx Brothers comedies (At the Circus (1939) and Go West (1940). Brecher jokingly referred to "Go West" "as the longest short ever made". He began his career as an usher at a Manhattan movie theater. A critic from "Variety" magazine told him that he could earn money writing jokes for comedians and he consequently moved to Hollywood in 1937. He wrote gags for Milton Berle and worked at MGM for some time, afterwards creating, producing and writing the popular radio sitcom "The Life of Riley" and then turning it into a feature film and a TV series.
2 Talks about considering Lon Chaney Jr. for the top role in TV's "The Life of Riley" in the book "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland & Co., 2010) by Tom Weaver.
3 Profiled in "The Laugh Crafters: Comedy Writing in Radio and TV's Golden Age" by Jordan Young (BearManor Media).


Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The People's Choice TV Series producer - 31 episodes, 1955 - 1957 executive producer - 1 episode, 1957
The Life of Riley 1949-1950 TV Series producer - 26 episodes
The Life of Riley 1949 producer

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Best Foot Forward 1943 screenplay
Du Barry Was a Lady 1943 screenplay
Ship Ahoy 1942 uncredited
Shadow of the Thin Man 1941 screen play
Go West 1940 original screenplay
At the Circus 1939 screen play
The Wizard of Oz 1939 contributing writer - uncredited
Fools for Scandal 1938 additional dialogue - as Irv Brecher
New Faces of 1937 1937 screenplay - as Irv S. Brecher
Bye Bye Birdie 1963 screen play
Cry for Happy 1961
The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis 1959 TV Series written by - 1 episode
Meet Me in St. Louis 1959 TV Movie original screenplay
The People's Choice TV Series creator - 4 episodes, 1956 - 1957 writer - 1 episode, 1958
Somebody Loves Me 1952 written by
The Life of Riley TV Series written by - 25 episodes, 1949 - 1950 writer - 1 episode, 1949
The Life of Riley 1949 writer
Summer Holiday 1948 adaptation
Yolanda and the Thief 1945 screenplay
Ziegfeld Follies 1945 written by - segment "The Babbitt and the Bromide", uncredited
Meet Me in St. Louis 1944 screen play
The Heavenly Body 1944 uncredited

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Sail a Crooked Ship 1961
The People's Choice 1955 TV Series 2 episodes
Somebody Loves Me 1952
The Life of Riley 1949 TV Series 1 episode
The Life of Riley 1949

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Remarks on Marx 2004 Video short special thanks
The Unknown Marx Brothers 1993 TV Movie documentary special thanks - as Irv Brecher

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
On Your Marx, Get Set, Go! 2004 Video documentary short Himself
Remarks on Marx 2004 Video short Himself
Great Performances 1996 TV Series Himself
The Unknown Marx Brothers 1993 TV Movie documentary Himself - Screenwriter-Director (as Irv Brecher)
A Museum of Broadcasting Tribute: Milton Berle - Mr. Television 1985 TV Movie documentary
The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell 1982 TV Movie documentary Himself

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1945 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Writing, Screenplay Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) · Fred F. Finklehoffe


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