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Songwriter Betty Comden dies at 89

Nov. 23, 2006 at 7:06 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Betty Comden, who collaborated with Adolph Green on some of America's most popular Broadway and movie musicals, died at 89 in New York Thursday.

The cause was heart failure, her lawyer Ronald Konecky told The New York Times.

Comden's six-decade collaboration with Green, which ended with Green's death in 2002, produced such classic Broadway and movie musicals as "Singing' in the Rain," "On the Town" and "The Will Rogers Follies."

Comden was born Elizabeth Cohen Green on May 3, 1917, in Brooklyn. She studied drama at New York University and graduated in 1938.

She first partnered with Green and a young performer named Judy Tuvin -- who later changed her name to Judy Holliday -- in a trio called The Revuers, performing music and comedy in Greenwich Village. Collaborating with Leonard Bernstein, they had their first Broadway success in 1944 with "On the Town."

Comden and Green went on to write "Peter Pan" and "Bells Are Ringing," and the screenplays for "Singin' in the Rain" and "The Band Wagon."

They were nominated for 12 Tony Awards, winning seven times for such shows as "Wonderful Town," "Hallelujah, Baby!" and "The Will Rogers Follies."

They received Kennedy Center Honors in 1991, and were twice nominated for the Academy Award -- for their screenplays for "The Band Wagon" and "It's Always Fair Weather."

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