Playwrights and screenwriters are a different breed of writer. Usually there’s a team who work together to create some of the best plays ever written. The best ones are rewritten for film and sometimes the playwright is lucky enough to be asked to turn it into a script for a movie. That is what happened to the two men who became writing partners when they met in New York at a bar.
Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence, both born in Ohio, were well known in their own right for their journalistic abilities. They knew of each other but had never met until 1939. Lee was in a New York bar when Lawrence happened in. They quickly became friends and decided to work together from that day forward. In 1942, after the success of their play Laugh, God!, they made their partnership official. It was during this time they enlisted into the Army during WWII where they became involved in a group that formed the armed forces radio service.
The names Robert E. Lee and Jerome Lawrence were becoming better known in the theater circles when the play Inherit the Wind made its way to the stage in New York In 1955. This was only the beginning of their success as they now had made names for themselves as playwrights. Their many plays entertained and kept their names in the limelight. Eventually they were approached about turning their plays into movies and to write the screenplays which they both agreed to do. Their plays Auntie Mame and Mame were their longest running plays and both were made into movies, Auntie Mame starred Rosalind Russell and Mame starred Lucille Ball.
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