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A Film by Michael Kantor


Composers, Lyricists & Writers

Joshua Logan

A director, producer, actor, and author, Joshua Logan had more Broadway hits than almost anyone else. In the late 1940s Logan directed and co-authored two of Broadway’s most popular productions — “Mister Roberts,” written with Thomas Heggen, and “South Pacific,” for which he shared a Pulitzer Prize in drama with Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. His many other director’s credits include the Broadway shows “Annie Get Your Gun” and “The World of Suzie Wong” and the films BUS STOP and CAMELOT. Logan worked in theater and film throughout his career, showing talent from the time he was a young student at Princeton University. He acted on stage before achieving his first major success as a director with “I Married an Angel,” in 1938; he also produced several shows. For many years Logan struggled with manic-depressive illness, and late in life he toured the country to offer encouragement to fellow sufferers. In addition to plays, his writings include the screen adaptation of MISTER ROBERTS; its sequel, ENSIGN PULVER; and the autobiographies JOSH: MY UP AND DOWN, IN AND OUT LIFE and MOVIE STARS, REAL PEOPLE, AND ME.

Betta St. John and Richard Tabbert in "South Pacific."

In his first book of memoirs, JOSH: MY UP AND DOWN, IN AND OUT LIFE, Logan “re-creates an era that has almost entirely disappeared — a time when New York was the center of America’s theatrical universe and a nude male torso on a Broadway stage was a subject of controversy,” John Houseman commented.

In the book he discussed his associations with such theatrical giants as Margaret Sullavan, Henry Fonda, James Stewart, William Inge, David Merrick, Oscar Hammerstein, Richard Rodgers, Mary Martin, Helen Hayes, and Ethel Merman. Also included is a reminiscence of the great master of the theater, Stanislavsky, under whom Logan studied in Russia after graduating from Princeton. Logan was also extremely candid in discussing the two nervous breakdowns that were linked to his career.

Joshua Logan

Born: 1908
Died: 1988
Key Shows
  • "All American"
  • "Annie Get Your Gun"
  • "Fanny"
  • "South Pacific"
  • "Wish You Were Here"
Related Artists
  • Agnes de Mille
  • Oscar Hammerstein II
  • Mary Martin
  • David Merrick
  • Richard Rodgers
  • Harold Rome
  • Charles Strouse

MOVIE STARS, REAL PEOPLE, AND ME begins where the first book left off, and covers Logan’s 1956 direction of the film, PICNIC, to the time of the memoir’s publication, although not chronologically. Seymour Peck declared in his review of the book: “In many, short, fast, intense chapters, Mr. Logan plunges ahead, as if he were pacing one of his smash hits or urging an Ethel Merman to sing louder. Much of it is gossipy and inconsequential; much of it is funny and bawdy; much of it is impassioned and illuminating. Mr. Logan’s emotions are usually at high pitch and catch the reader up. The pages whizz by.”

Source: Excerpted from CONTEMPORARY AUTHORS ONLINE, Gale Group, © 2001 Gale Group. Reprinted by permission of The Gale Group.

Photo credits: Photofest and the New York Public Library