Levant, Oscar

Levant, Oscar

(1906–72) pianist, actor; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. He studied piano with Sigismund Stojowski and composition with Schoenberg, but his close friendship with Gershwin was the determining factor in his career; he became one of the foremost Gershwin interpreters and an occasional composer. At the same time, Levant had an active career as a screen and radio humorist and author; his films include An American in Paris (1951), and his books include Memoirs of an Amnesiac (1965).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.