US playwright/screenwriter, stage/film director, and author. In Hollywood from 1938 he directed several films; during World War II he made documentary films for the government, the most ambitious being the award-winning True Glory (1945), which he codirected with Carol Reed. The best known of his many original stage plays is Born Yesterday (1946); he directed such stage works as The Diary of Anne Frank (1955) and Funny Girl (1964). Among his many film credits are those for screenplays, including Adam's Rib (1949) and Pat and Mike (1952). He also published several works of fiction and memoirs, including Tracy and Hepburn: An Intimate Memoir (1971) and Moviola (1979).
He was born in Rochester, New York. He commenced his show business career in the late 1920s as a jazz clarinetist/saxophonist, then became a vaudeville comedian. He studied at New York's American Academy of the Dramatic Arts, made his acting debut in 1933, and after serving as assistant director under George Abbott, directed his first play, Hitch Your Wagon in 1937. In 1950 he wrote a new English libretto for and collaborated in the direction of the Metropolitan Opera Company's Die Fledermaus.