Vocal, Show Tunes, Cast Recordings, Traditional Pop, Classical
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Atlantic City, New Jersey
Place of Death
Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Profile Bio Text
Bob Merrill (May 17, 1921 – February 17, 1998) was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist, and screenwriter. Merrill was born Henry Merrill Levan in Atlantic City, New Jersey and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Following a stint with the Army during World War II, he moved to Hollywood, where he worked as a dialogue director for Columbia Pictures. He began his songwriting career writing tunes for Dorothy Shay. One of his first major hits was the 1950 novelty song "If I Knew You Were Comin` I`d`ve Baked a Cake", co-written with Al Hoffman and Clem Watts and recorded by Eileen Barton. His two most famous songs were "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window?", a huge hit for Patti Page and "Mambo Italiano" recorded by Rosemary Clooney.
Merrill made his Broadway debut in 1957 with New Girl in Town, a musical adaptation of Eugene O`Neill`s Anna Christie. His greatest theatrical success was the Barbra Streisand vehicle Funny Girl, which introduced the standard "People" and "Don`t Rain on My Parade". When the stage show was adapted for the screen, he and songwriting partner Jule Styne were asked to write a title tune, which eventually garnered them both Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Song entitled "Funny Girl". Merrill`s other Broadway credits include Take Me Along (1959), Carnival! (1961), Breakfast at Tiffany`s (1966), Henry, Sweet Henry (1967), Sugar (1972), and The Red Shoes (1993). He also wrote the book and lyrics for the Angela Lansbury vehicle Prettybelle (1971) and the music and lyrics for the Robert Preston musical The Prince of Grand Street (1978), both of which closed during their Boston tryouts. He was nominated for the Tony Award eight times, but never won. Merrill`s screenwriting credits include Mahogany (1975), W.C. Fields and Me (1976), and the television movies Portrait of a Showgirl (1982) and The Animated Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1998).
Among Merrill`s television credits were two holiday specials, the classic Mister Magoo`s Christmas Carol and The Dangerous Christmas of Red Riding Hood, written specifically for Liza Minnelli. He is the second most successful songwriter of the 1950s on the U.K. charts. Merrill became progressively ill in the mid-1990s and took his own life on February 17, 1998 at the age of 76.
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Bob Merrill (May 17, 1921 – February 17, 1998) was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist, and screenwriter. He was the second most successful songwriter of the 1950s on the UK Singles Chart.
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Songwriter, Composer, Broadway Composer,
He Wrote "How Much Is That Doggie In The Widow
Turtle Neck Sweaters
Piano (He Could Not Read Music
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