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Encyclopedia > Oscar Levant

Oscar Levant (December 27, 1906 - August 14, 1972) was an American pianist, composer, author, comedian, and an actor, better known for his mordant character and witticisms, on the radio and in movies and television, than his music. Oscar Levant The copyright status of this work is difficult or impossible to determine. ... December 27 is the 361st day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (362nd in leap years). ... 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... August 14 is the 226th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (227th in leap years), with 139 days remaining. ... 1972 (MCMLXXII) was a leap year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1972 calendar). ... Pianist Glenn Gould, Toronto, 1974 A pianist is a person who plays the piano. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article or the like. ... A comedian, or comic, is an entertainer who amuses an audience by making them laugh. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Film refers to the celluloid media on which movies are printed. ... Music is a form of expression in the medium of time using the structures of tones and silence. ...

Contents


Life

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, into a musical and Orthodox Russian Jewish family, Levant moved to New York with his mother, Annie, in 1922 after the death of his father, Max. He began studying under Zygmunt Stojowski, a well-established piano pedagogue. Flag Seal Nickname: The Steel City Location Location in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Government County Allegheny County Founded 1758 Mayor Bob OConnor Geographical characteristics Area    - City 151. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... Jews (Hebrew: יהודים, Yehudim) are followers of Judaism or, more generally, members of the Jewish people (also known as the Jewish nation, or the Children of Israel), an ethno-religious group descended from the ancient Israelites and converts who joined their religion. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq. ... 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Death is the cessation of life. ... Zygmunt Stojowski. ... A baby grand piano, with the lid up. ...


In 1928 Levant traveled to Hollywood where his career turned for the better. During his stay, he met and befriended George Gershwin. In just twenty years, 1929-1948, he would go on to compose the music for more than twenty movies. ... George Gershwin photograph by Edward Steichen in 1927. ...


Around 1932 Levant began composing seriously. This led to a request by Aaron Copland to play at the Yaddo Festival of contemporary American music on April 30 of that year. Successful, Levant began on a new orchestral work, Sinfonietta. He was also married and divorced to actress Barbara Woodell in 1932. 1932 (MCMXXXII) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link will take you to a full 1932 calendar). ... Aaron Copland (November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer of concert and film music. ... Yaddo was founded as a nonprofit organization in 1900 by the financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, herself a poet, Nichols Trask, and philanthropist George Foster Peabody. ... April 30 is the 120th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (121st in leap years), with 245 days remaining. ...


In 1939, Levant married for the second time, to singer and actress June Gale (Gilmartin), part of the singing foursome The Gale Sisters (besides June, there were Jane, Joan, and Jean). They were married for almost 33 years, until his death, and had three children, Marcia, Lorna, and Amanda. 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ...


During the years of 1958-1960, Levant hosted a television talk show on KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, The Oscar Levant Show, which later became syndicated. It featured his piano playing along with monologues and interviews with top-name guests such as Fred Astaire. The show was highly controversial, eventually being taken from the air after a comment about Marilyn Monroe: "Now that Marilyn Monroe is kosher, Arthur Miller can eat her." He later stated that he "hadn't meant it that way." Several months later, the show began to be broadcast in a slightly revised format; now it was taped in order to provide a buffer for Levant's antics. This, however, failed to prevent Levant from making comments about Mae West's sex life that caused the show to be canceled for good. 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... A talk show (U.S.) or chat show (Brit. ... KCOP-TV, referred to as either Channel 13 or KCOP 13, is a UPN affiliated television station in Los Angeles and the unofficial West Coast flagship of the network. ... This article is about the largest city in California. ... In the television industry (as in radio), syndication is the sale of the right to broadcast programs to multiple stations, without going through a broadcast network. ... Fred Astaire Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987), born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska, was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. ... Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962) is one of the 20th centurys most famous movie stars, sex symbols and pop icons. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... MAE-West is a major Internet peering point located in San Jose, California. ...


Levant was a member of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal conclave of New York wits and writers; other members were Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, and Alexander Woollcott. Much later Levant was also a frequent guest on Jack Paar's talk show. The Algonquin Round Table was a group of New York City writers, critics, actors and wits that met from 1919 until about 1929, though its legacy endured long afterward. ... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 54,520 sq. ... Dorothy Parker (August 22, 1893 – June 7, 1967) was an American writer and poet best known for her caustic wit, wisecracks, and sharp eye for 20th century Urban foibles. ... Robert Charles Benchley (September 15, 1889 in Worcester, Massachusetts – November 21, 1945) was an American humorist, newspaper columnist, film actor, and drama editor. ... Harpo Marx Adolph Arthur Marx, popularly known as Harpo Marx, (November 23, 1888 – September 28, 1964) was one of the Marx Brothers, a group of Vaudeville entertainers who later achieved fame as comedians in the Motion Picture industry. ... Alexander Woollcott, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1939 Alexander Humphreys Woollcott (January 19, 1887 - January 23, 1943) was a critic and commentator for The New Yorker magazine, and a member of the Algonquin Round Table. ... Jacques Harold Paar (May 1, 1918 – January 27, 2004) was an American radio and television talk show host. ...


The 1920s and 1930s wit Alexander Woollcott, also a member of the Algonquin Round Table, once said about Levant: "There's absolutely nothing wrong with Oscar Levant that a miracle can't fix." It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Social issues of the 1920s. ... This article or section is missing references or citation of sources. ... Alexander Woollcott, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1939 Alexander Humphreys Woollcott (January 19, 1887 - January 23, 1943) was a critic and commentator for The New Yorker magazine, and a member of the Algonquin Round Table. ...


Open about his neuroses and a notorious hypochondriac, Levant was also in his later life addicted to prescription drugs and was frequently committed to mental hospitals by his wife, June Gale. Despite his afflictions, Levant was considered a genius by some, in many areas ("There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line."). His playing of the Tchaikovsky and Anton Rubinstein piano concerti, as well as Gershwin, is a testimony to his talents. A neurosis, in psychoanalytic theory, is an ineffectual coping strategy that Sigmund Freud suggested was caused by emotions from past experience overwhelming or interfering with present experience. ... Hypochondria (sometimes hypochondriasis) is the unfounded belief that one is suffering from a serious illness. ...


Levant drew increasingly away from the limelight in his later years. Upon his death in Beverly Hills, California of a heart attack at the age of 65, he was interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. In their routines other comics have claimed, apocryphally, that hypochondriac Levant's epitaph was inscribed, "I told them I was ill." Beverly Hills is a city in the western part of Los Angeles County, California, almost entirely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles. ... Cemetery view looking South-East. ... Nickname City of Angels Location Location within Los Angeles County in the state of California Government Country State County United States California Los Angeles County Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D) Geographical characteristics Area  - City    - Land    - Water  - Urban 1,290. ...


Filmography

See also: 1928 in film 1929 1930 in film 1920s in film 1930s in film years in film film // Events The days of the silent film were numbered. ... See also: 1928 in film 1929 1930 in film 1920s in film 1930s in film years in film film // Events The days of the silent film were numbered. ... See also: 1934 in film 1935 1936 in film 1930s in film years in film film Events Judy Garland signs a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). ... See also: 1939 in film 1940 1941 in film 1940s in film 1930s in film years in film film // Events February 7 - Walt Disneys animated film Pinocchio is released. ... See also: 1940 in film 1941 1942 in film 1940s in film years in film film // Events Top grossing films Sergeant York Buck Privates, starring Abbott and Costello Tobacco Road Academy Awards Best Picture: How Green Was My Valley - 20th Century-Fox Best Actor: Gary Cooper - Sergeant York Best Actress... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... See also: 1944 in film 1945 1946 in film 1940s in film years in film film // Events Paramount Studios releases theatrical short cartoon titled The Friendly Ghost, featuring ghost named Casper With Rossellinis Roma Città aperta, Italian neorealist cinema begins. ... Rhapsody in Blue is a 1945 biopic of George Gershwin. ... See also: 1944 in film 1945 1946 in film 1940s in film years in film film // Events Paramount Studios releases theatrical short cartoon titled The Friendly Ghost, featuring ghost named Casper With Rossellinis Roma Città aperta, Italian neorealist cinema begins. ... See also: 1947 in film 1948 1949 in film 1940s in film years in film film // Events Top grossing films North America The Red Shoes, (55th in year of release, lifetime box office would place it in first) The Road to Rio Easter Parade Red River The Three Musketeers, Johnny... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... See also: 1948 in film 1949 1950 in film 1940s in film 1950s in film years in film film Events Top grossing films North America Adams Rib Jolson Sings Again Pinky I Was a Male War Bride, The Snake Pit, Joan of Arc Academy Awards Best Picture: All the... An American in Paris is a 1951 musical film based on the classical composition by George Gershwin. ... See also: 1950 in film 1951 1952 in film 1950s in film 1940s in film years in film film Events Sweden - May Britt is scouted by Italian film-makers Carlo Ponti and Mario Soldati Top grossing films North America David and Bathsheba Show Boat tie The Great Caruso and An... Though a Bohemian is a native of the Czech province of Bohemia, a secondary meaning for bohemian emerged in 19th century France. ... // Events February 20 - The film The African Queen opens (Capitol Theater in New York City). ... See also: 1952 in film 1953 1954 in film 1950s in film years in film film Events September 16 - The Robe debuts as the first anamorphic, widescreen CinemaScope film. ... The Band Wagon is a musical comedy film, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1953, which tells the story of an aging musical star who wants to star in a Broadway play that will restart his career. ... See also: 1952 in film 1953 1954 in film 1950s in film years in film film Events September 16 - The Robe debuts as the first anamorphic, widescreen CinemaScope film. ... Adolph Green (December 2, 1914 - October 23, 2002) was an American lyricist and playwright, who penned most of his songs, plays, and movies with Betty Comden. ... // Events November 3 - The musical Guys and Dolls, starring Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, debuts. ... // Events February 16- In the Money is released on this date. ...

Memoirs

As a literary genre, a memoir forms a subclass of autobiography, although it is an older form of writing. ... See also: 1939 in literature, other events of 1940, 1941 in literature, list of years in literature. ... The Memoirs of an Amnesiac (Ballantine, 1965) is the autobiography of composer, radio, and television personality Oscar Levant. ... See also: 1964 in literature, other events of 1965, 1966 in literature, list of years in literature. ... This article or section seems not to be written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia entry. ... See also: 1967 in literature, other events of 1968, 1969 in literature, list of years in literature. ...

Quotes

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Oscar Levant

More examples of his controversial repartée: Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo-en. ... Wikiquote logo Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... A controversy is a contentious dispute, a disagreement over which parties are actively arguing. ...

  • "I used to call Audrey Hepburn a walking X-ray."
  • "A few years ago someone suggested that I read Spinoza. The first chapter in this particular volume was about superstitions and rituals. Here was my faith! Spinoza said rituals are all based on fear. My faith destroyed, I put down the book."
  • "When Frank Sinatra, Jr. was kidnapped, I said, 'It must have been done by music critics.'"
  • "Not long ago, a well-known Hollywood savings-and-loan millionaire intruded on a conversation at my table at a restaurant. Worst still, he implied that he and I were equals. 'Compared to you, I'm a Habsburg,' I told him. But it didn't offend him. He thought Habsburg was a rival local banker."
  • "What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left."
  • "I only make jokes when I am feeling insecure."
  • "So little time and so little to do..."
  • "I'm a concert pianist, that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."
  • "I knew Doris Day before she was a virgin."
  • "I have one thing to say about psychoanalysis: f... Dr Freud."
  • "Everyone in Hollywood is gay, except Gabby Hayes — and that's because he is a transvestite."
  • "Underneath this flabby exterior is an enormous lack of character."

Work on Broadway

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... See Conductor for other possible uses of the word. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... A composer is a person who writes music. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Oscar Levant - definition of Oscar Levant in Encyclopedia (418 words)
Oscar Levant (born December 27, 1906 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - died August 14, 1972) was a pianist and an actor, better known for his character than his music.
Born into a musical family, Levant moved to New York with his mother in 1922 after the death of his father.
Oscar Levant drew increasingly away from "starlight" in his later years.
Oscar Levant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (796 words)
Oscar Levant (December 27, 1906 - August 14, 1972) was an American pianist, composer, author, comedian, and an actor, better known for his mordant character and witticisms, on the radio and in movies and television, than his music.
In 1939, Levant married for the second time, to singer and actress June Gale (Gilmartin), part of the singing foursome The Gale Sisters (besides June, there were Jane, Joan, and Jean).
Levant was a member of the Algonquin Round Table, an informal conclave of New York wits and writers; other members were Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, Harpo Marx, and Alexander Woollcott.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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