Larry Gelbart was an American screenwriter, playwright, and director. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1928, his family moved to California when Gelbart was a teenager and he attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. After serving in the US Army for just over a year, he began working as a writer in television and radio on shows such as Caesar’s Hour and Honestly, Celeste!. He is best known in television for his work on M*ASH, which he co-created as well as writing and directing episodes throughout its first four seasons.
On the big screen, Gelbart had a huge hit with the 1982 film Tootsie, which he co-wrote with Murray Shisgal. Gelbart also wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for films such as Oh, God! (1977), Movie Movie (1978), Blame It On Rio (1984), and Bedazzled (2000).
In 1962, Gelbart collaborated with Burt Shevelove and Stephen Sondheim to write the book for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The show was a huge Broadway hit and won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical. Gelbart stated in 1991 that "it remains for me the best piece of work I've been lucky enough to see my name on." He returned to Broadway in 1989, writing the book for City of Angels, which also won the Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical.
Gelbart was married to actress Patricia Marshall for 53 years and the couple had 2 children. He died in 2009 of cancer.
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