"A Rat with Hair on It?" Moss Hart's Birthday & the Man Who Killed Mozart (but not really) - F. Murray Abraham
When you think of the hilarity and depth of his work, it's hard to believe the highly successful Broadway playwright, director and screenwriter, Moss Hart, suffered from depression. Born this day in 1904, he gave us the Pulitzer Prize-winning You Can't Take It with You and the irresistible The Man Who Came to Dinner. He also directed the Broadway productions of My Fair Lady and Camelot, and his screenplays include A Star Is Born and Gentleman's Agreement. Here is the still very funny "rat with a hair on it" scene from the film version of You Can't Take It with You, with Jean Arthur and Jimmy Stewart, who won an Oscar for this performance. It's followed by a clip of Hart's biographer, Jared Brown, discussing the writer's depression.
F. Murray Abraham
We all know by now that composer Antonio Salieri did not kill Mozart, but when you watch F. Murray Abraham's (born today 1939) Oscar-winning performance in the film version of Peter Shaffer's play, Amadeus, you can certainly believe it. Here's a clip from his stunning portrayal of jealousy, hubris and revenge gone wild.
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
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