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S.N. Behrman


S. N. BEHRMAN was born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1893, the son of Lithuanian immigrants. As a boy, he worked as an usher in a theatre in Worcester and at fifteen, he ran away to New York City. After high school, he attempted a career as an actor but later returned to Massachusetts to attend Clark University where he studied psychology and drama before transferring to Harvard University. In 1915, he sold his first short story to The Parisienne. While attending Columbia University as a graduate student, Behrman worked as a book reviewer, newspaper interviewer and press agent, collaborated on three undistinguished plays, and published short stories in several magazines, including The Smart Set. His first play under his own name, The Second Man, was a dramatization of a story he had written for The Smart Set in 1919.From the late 1920s through the 1940s, S.N. Behrman was considered one of Broadway’s leading writers of high comedy: among his greatest Broadway successes were Biography (1932), End of Summer (1936), and No Time for Comedy (1939). With composer Harold Rome, he adapted Marcel Pagnol’s Fanny trilogy into a musical play for the stage. His 1942 Broadway play, The Pirate, was turned into a musical. In Hollywood, Behrman enjoyed a lucrative second career as a screenwriter. Behrman died in 1973.