Born in New York City, Martin Charnin's long and celebrated career started on the Broadway stage when he performed with the original Broadway cast of West Side Story as a Jet. His writing career started under impresario Julius Monk in Off-Broadway theaters.
Charnin's first Broadway musical was 1963's Hot Spot, for which he wrote the lyrics. In 1970, he teamed up with Peter Stone (book) and Richard Rodgers (music) on Two by Two, a retelling of Noah and the Great Flood. He also began writing music and lyrics for television, and won an Emmy Award for S'Wonderful, S'Marvelous, S'Gershwin (1972).
While he was receiving accolades for his work throughout the 1970s, Charnin's greatest success came in 1977 with Annie, which he not only created, but also wrote the lyrics and directed the original Broadway Production. The show won the Tony Award for Best Original Score. Charnin continued to write a direct throughout his career, and even helmed the 2014 revival of Two by Two at the York Theater, starring Jason Alexander as Noah.
Charnin died in 2019 after suffering a heart attack.
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