Harris, Sam H.


Harris, Sam H.
(1872-1941).t A native of New York's Lower East Side, Samuel Henry Harris worked as a newsboy, salesman, and in a laundry before becoming manager of boxer Terry McGovern, who appeared in a touring burlesque show, The Gay Morning Glories, between fights. When Harris bought a piece of the show, his producing career began and it expanded in 1900 when he embarked on a four-year partnership with A. H. Woods and P. H. "Paddy" Sullivan to mount touring melodramas, including The Fatal Wedding and The Bowery After Dark. In 1904, Harris formed a legendary partnership with George M. Cohan. As the management team Cohan and Harris, they staged innumerable productions, including virtually all of Cohan's plays and musicals from Little Johnny Jones (1904) to The Royal Vagabond (1919), at which point they dissolved their partnership. On his own, Harris kept up a prodigious producing schedule, including The Music Box Revues and many of the most successful musicals and plays of the 1920s and 1930s. Before 1930, these included The Hero (1921), Six-Cylinder Love (1921), Rain (1922), Icebound (1923), The Nervous Wreck (1924), The Jazz Singer (1925), Cradle Snatchers (1925), The Cocoanuts (1925), Chicago (1926), Animal Crackers (1928), and June Moon (1929). He continued to produce until the year of his death, including the Pulitzer PRiZE-winners Of Thee I Sing! (1933) and You Can t Take It with You* (1936), and mounted a reunion with Cohan, who starred in the Harris-produced Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical satire, I'd Rather Be Right (1937). Harris was well-respected for his taste, attention to every detail of production, and his genial manner.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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