SAUL CHAPLIN Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Name: Saul Chaplin                                                                         
Birth name: Saul Kaplan                                                                     
Born: 19 February 1912 Brooklyn, New York, USA                                             
Died: 15 November 1997 Los Angeles, California, USA                                         
Saul Chaplin (February 19, 1912 – November 15, 1997) was one of Hollywood's               
preeminent composers and musical directors.                                                 
He was born Saul Kaplan in Brooklyn, New York. He had worked on stage, screen               
and television since the days of Tin Pan Alley. In film, he won four Oscars for             
collaborating on the scores and orchestrations of An American in Paris (1951),             
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) and West Side Story (1961).                         
Following education at New York University's School of Commerce, Chaplin joined             
the ASCAP and started out penning tunes for the theatre, vaudeville and for New             
York's famous songwriting district, Tin Pan Alley. While in New York, Chaplin               
teamed with Sammy Cahn to compose original songs for Vitaphone movie shorts,               
filmed in Brooklyn by Warner Brothers. During this period the team was sometimes           
billed only by surname ("Cahn and Chaplin"), in the manner of Rodgers and Hart             
or Gilbert and Sullivan.                                                                   
Cahn and Chaplin relocated to Hollywood and scored two films for Universal                 
Pictures. Chaplin then moved to Columbia Pictures to score Cover Girl and The               
Jolson Story. While on the latter film, Chaplin and Al Jolson penned the million-selling   
hit tune The Anniversary Song. In the late 1940s, Chaplin moved to MGM to work             
on a long string of films including On the Town (1949), Kiss Me, Kate (1953),               
High Society (1956) and Merry Andrew (1958). For collaborating on such hits as             
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen and Please Be Kind, Chaplin was inducted into the                   
Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985.                                                           
While he still continued composing, Chaplin became a movie producer in the early           
'60s and was behind such major features as West Side Story (1961), Can-Can (1960),         
I Could Go On Singing (1963), The Sound of Music (1965), STAR! (1968), Man of La           
Mancha (1972) and That's Entertainment, Part 2 (1976). He won Academy Awards for           
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, An American in Paris and West Side Story as               
well as a nomination for High Society.                                                     
He published his autobiography, The Golden Age of Movie Musicals and Me in 1994.           
Chaplin worked with and was friends with most of the major songwriters and                 
performers of his era, such as Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin, Al Jolson, Leonard               
Bernstein, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Phil Silvers, Julie Andrews, Frank Sinatra             
and others. His memoir focused on the behind the scenes aspect of moviemaking.             
Chaplin was married to Betty Levin, who worked as script supervisor on The Sound           
of Music. In late 1997, the 85-year-old Chaplin suffered a bad fall and on                 
November 15 died as a result of his injuries in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.