Tony-winning lyricist Betty Comden, half of a famed partnership with the late Adolph Green that contributed to dozens of Broadway and Hollywood musicals, died on Thanksgiving at age 89. A look at Comden’s IMDB page or her New York Times obituary tells the story of a writer who was as talented and versatile as she was prolific. Comden and Green (pictured) achieved prominence writing the book and lyrics for On the Town – and, later, the screenplay for its film adaptation – including “New York, New York,” so amusingly performed by Mark Indelicato in a recent episode of Ugly Betty. And that was just the beginning. Bells Are Ringing, Wonderful Town, Applause, Singin’ in the Rain, the big-screen version of Auntie Mame…each of those classic musicals contained Comden’s stamp. She went on to win seven Tony awards, and scored Oscar nominations for The Band Wagon and It’s Always Fair Weather. If you get a few spare minutes today, the folks at Overwhelmed and Perplexed have posted three tracks from Blossom Dearie Sings Comden and Green, including a particularly lovely rendition of “Hold Me, Hold Me, Hold Me,” while a YouTube search yields Shirley Bassey’s outsize take on “The Party’s Over.” Mournful as that latter tune may be, in Comden’s case, thanks to her vast repertoire of songs, the party carries on.
Posted November 27 2006 — 3:50 PM EST
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