Freed, Arthur

Freed, Arthur (b. Arthur Grossman)

(1894–1973) lyricist, movie producer; born in Charleston, S.C. Beginning in vaudeville (he appeared at times with the Marx Brothers), he started to write songs and in 1929 was hired as a lyricist by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). For the next ten years he wrote the lyrics for numerous films. In 1939 he became a producer and for two decades helped to make MGM the leading studio for musicals, surrounding himself with talented directors like Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley, and Stanley Donen, and shaping the careers of many Hollywood legends including Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. He also continued writing songs, such as "Singing in the Rain." Two of his films won best picture Oscars, An American in Paris (1951) and Gigi (1958).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.