Adolph Green, 87, co-wrote Broadway musicals, lyrics for tunes by Leonard Bernstein, others


NEW YORK - Adolph Green, the playwright, performer and lyricist who in a six-decade collaboration with Betty Comden was co-author of such hit Broadway musicals as On the Town, Wonderful Town and Bells Are Ringing and the screenplays for Singin' in the Rain and The Band Wagon, died yesterday at his home in Manhattan. He was 87.

Ms. Comden and Mr. Green wrote the words for much of the Broadway show music written by Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne, Cy Coleman, Andre Previn, Morton Gould, Saul Chaplin, John Frank and Roger Edens. Some of the songs were woven so tightly into the fabric of the musical that they were not readily selected by popular singers and thus did not become well known to the general public.

Others, however, became standards. They included "Make Someone Happy," "Just in Time," "The Party's Over" and "Never Never Land," with music by Styne; "New York, New York (a Hell of a Town)," "Some Other Time," "Ohio" and "Lucky to Be Me," with music by Bernstein.

In addition to their writing, they performed their own material in nightclubs, on concert stages and on television. They appeared on Broadway in A Party With Betty Comden and Adolph Green in 1958 and in the 1977 revival.

They were so professionally inseparable, so committed to each other, that many people thought they were married. According to statements they gave to interviewers, they never even considered the prospect.

Ms. Comden became the wife of businessman Steven Kyle in 1942, and was happy to remain that way until Mr. Kyle's death in 1979. Mr. Green had two unsuccessful marriages before he wed actress Phyllis Newman in 1960, and she survives him.

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