Jerome Lawrence

Writer, Source Material
Jerome Lawrence

Male

Born: July 14, 1915
Cleveland, Ohio

Died: February 29, 2004
Malibu, California

Jerome Lawrence, the playwright known for Auntie Mame, Inherit the Wind, The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail and First Monday in October, all collaborations with fellow writer Robert E. Lee, died Feb. 29, 2004, at his home in Malibu, California, according to The New York Times. Mr. Lawrence was 88 and leaves behind 39 works co-written with Lee, including librettos for Dear World and Mame. Lee died in 1994.

Their best-known work might be the courtroom drama, Inherit the Wind, the even-handed fictionalization of the Scopes Monkey Trial that put a Tennessee teacher on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in a community where creationism was embraced.

Mr. Lawrence was born in Cleveland in 1915. His father owned a printing company and his mother was a poet and philanthropist. He earned a B.A. from Ohio State University in 1937 and later did graduate work at the University of California.

Mr. Lawrence reportedly met Lee (a native of Elyria, Ohio) in New York in 1942 while Mr. Lawrence was a writer for CBS radio and Lee was working for Young & Rubicam, the advertising agency.

While serving in World War II, they helped found the Armed Forces Radio Service. Their first Broadway collaboration after their service was the musical, Look, Ma! I'm Dancin'.

Their works included Shangri-La (also lyricist), Diamond Orchid, The Incomparable Max, The Gang's All Here, Only in America and A Call on Kuprin.

According to The New York Times, the last collaboration of Lawrence & Lee was seen at the Missouri Rep in 1994. The play was Whisper in the Mind, about an imaginary meeting between Benjamin Franklin and hypnotist Frank Anton Mesmer.

Mr. Lawrence's one Tony Award nomination was for Best Musical, for Mame, though his works are revived hundreds of times around the world, long after many Tony-winning playwrights fall from view.

The writers also penned the screen plays of "Auntie Mame" (based on the novel by Patrick Dennis) and "Inherit the Wind."

The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail has had a wide life in university and regional theatre.

Mr. Lawrence is survived by his companion, Will Willoughby, of Malibu, his niece Deborah Robison of Berkeley, CA, his niece Paula Robison of Boston, and his nephew Joshua Robison of San Francisco.

*

A theatre archive is named in honor of Lawrence & Lee at Ohio State University. Click here for more information.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - Inherit the Wind Inherit the Wind
Apr. 12, 2007 - Jul. 8, 2007
Playwright
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Inherit the Wind Inherit the Wind
Apr. 4, 1996 - May 12, 1996
Playwright
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Mame Mame
Jul. 24, 1983 - Aug. 28, 1983
Book
(Original)
 
    Based on the play
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - First Monday in October First Monday in October
Oct. 3, 1978 - Dec. 9, 1978
Writer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Incomparable Max The Incomparable Max
Oct. 19, 1971 - Nov. 6, 1971
Writer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Dear World Dear World
Feb. 6, 1969 - May 31, 1969
Book
(Original)
Who's Who
Playbill Cover - Mame Mame
May 24, 1966 - Jan. 3, 1970
Based on the play "Auntie Mame"
(Original)
 
    Book
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Diamond Orchid Diamond Orchid
Feb. 10, 1965 - Feb. 13, 1965
Writer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - A Call on Kuprin A Call on Kuprin
May 25, 1961 - Jun. 3, 1961
Writer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Only in America Only in America
Nov. 19, 1959 - Dec. 12, 1959
Writer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - The Gang's All Here The Gang's All Here
Oct. 1, 1959 - Jan. 23, 1960
Writer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Auntie Mame Auntie Mame
Oct. 31, 1956 - Jun. 28, 1958
Writer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Shangri-La Shangri-La
Jun. 13, 1956 - Jun. 30, 1956
Book
(Original)
 
    Lyrics
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Inherit the Wind Inherit the Wind
Apr. 21, 1955 - Jun. 22, 1957
Writer
(Original)
 
Look, Ma, I'm Dancin'!
Jan. 29, 1948 - Jul. 10, 1948
Book
(Original)
 

Videos (1)

 

Inside the Playbill (3)

See more Who's Who
 
Name:
Email:
You are submitting a comment about: The page you are currently on: Jerome Lawrence - Broadway Theatre Credits, Photos, Who's Who - Playbill Vault
The website in general
What are you writing about?
Who are you?
Explain your reason for writing to us