About this Famous Person

Oscar HAMMERSTEIN II

American Oscar HAMMERSTEIN II

born Oscar Greeley Clendenning HAMMERSTEIN

American librettist, theatrical producer, and (usually uncredited) theatre director of musicals

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on July 12, 1895 in New York City, New York, USA
Died: on August 23, 1960 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, USA


Biography

Hammerstein was born in New York City, the son of Alice (née Nimmo) and William Hammerstein. His grandfather was German-born Jewish theater impresario Oscar Hammerstein I, and his mother was the daughter of Scottish and English parents. Hammerstein was raised an Episcopalian.

Although Hammerstein's father managed the Victoria Theatre for his father and was a producer of vaudeville shows (he is generally credited with inventing the "pie-in-the-face" routine), he was opposed to his son's desire to participate in the arts. Hammerstein attended Columbia University (1912–16) and studied at Columbia Law School until 1917. It was not until his father's death on June 10, 1914, that he participated in his first play with the Varsity Show, entitled On Your Way. Throughout the rest of his college career, Hammerstein wrote and performed in several Varsity Shows.

After quitting law school to pursue theatre, Hammerstein began his first professional collaboration, with Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach and Frank Mandel. He began as an apprentice and went on to form a 20-year collaboration with Harbach. Out of this collaboration came his first musical, Always You, for which he wrote the book and lyrics. It opened on Broadway in 1921.

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See Also :

- Category Composer