BURROWS, ABE


BURROWS, ABE
BURROWS, ABE (Abram Solman Borowitz; 1910–1985), U.S. author and director. Born in New York City, Burrows was educated at the City College of New York and New York University. He began his writing career as a scriptwriter for Duffy's Tavern on radio, and later for the Rudy Vallee program. He sang on his own radio program (The Abe Burrows Show), in nightclubs, and on television. Burrows wrote Guys and Dolls (1951), Can-Can (1953), Silk Stockings (1955), The Solid Gold Cadillac (1956), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961), and Cactus Flower (1965). On Broadway, he directed Two on the Aisle (1951–52), Can Can (1953–55), Happy Hunting (1956–57), Say, Darling (1958–59), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1961–65), What Makes Sammy Run? (1964–65), Cactus Flower (1965–68), Forty Carats (1968–70), and Guys and Dolls (revival, 1976–77). When Guys and Dolls first appeared on Broadway in 1951, it won a Tony Award for Best Musical. It is still considered one of the finest musical comedy scripts ever written. And Burrows' How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying was so successful that in 1962 it garnered him a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, as well as three Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Author, and Best Director. Because of his talent for music and comedy, Burrows was known in the business as "the show doctor," often being called in to administer to an ailing script or libretto. Burrows also hosted several television shows, namely This Is Show Business (1949–51), Abe Burrows' Almanac (1950), We Take Your Word (1950–51), The Name's the Same (1951–52), This Is Show Business (1956), and What's It For? (1957–58). He also made frequent appearances as a guest panelist on such shows as What's My Line? and To Tell the Truth. In 1980 Burrows wrote his autobiography Honest, Abe: Is There Really No Business Like Show Business? His son, JAMES (1940– ), was the director of such popular TV sitcoms as The Bob Newhart Show, Lou Grant, Taxi, Cheers, Night Court, and Friends, and won seven Emmys. (Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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