Comedy Scriptwriter Brecher Dies
Comedy scriptwriter IRVING BRECHER has died at the age of 94.
He passed away on Monday (17Nov08) in Los Angeles after a series of heart attacks last week (beg10Nov08).
His most notable work included the vaudeville sketches he penned for Milton Berle and comedies he wrote for the Marx Brothers - including a solo credit on 1940 film Go West.
Early in his career, Brecher was an uncredited script doctor on The Wizard of Oz, leading Groucho Marx to call him The Wicked Wit of the West - the title of his autobiography, which is scheduled to hit shelves in January (09).
His film credits came to include Shadow of the Thin Man in 1941, 1943's Du Barry Was a Lady, starring Lucille Ball, Gene Kelly and Red Skelton, Yolanda and the Thief in 1945, starring Fred Astaire, and 1963 classic Bye Bye Birdie.
Brecher was also nominated for an Academy Award for his screenplay for Meet Me in St. Louis, starring Judy Garland.
In addition to the silver screen, Brecher also turned his talents to radio, creating long-running series The Life of Riley - later adapted into a feature film and TV series in 1949.
He is survived by his wife, Norma, and three stepchildren.