Norman Krasna

Active - 1932 - 1964  |   Born - Nov 7, 1909   |   Died - Nov 1, 1984   |   Genres - Comedy, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Producer, writer, director and bon vivant Norman Krasna was educated at NYU, Columbia and the Brooklyn Law School. He worked as a film and theatre critic in New York before heading to Hollywood to join Warner Bros.' publicity department. Developing a talent for turning out funny material in a minimum amount of time, Krasna became a valuable man to have around for producers of such economical comedy films as Wheeler and Woolsey's So This Is Africa (1933) and Miriam Hopkins' The Richest Girl in the World (1934). He proved equally adept at drama, turning out the original stories for director Fritz Lang's powerful anti-lynching tract Fury (1936) and Lang's Brechtian You and Me (1938).

As busy on Broadway as he was in Hollywood, Krasna penned several popular stage plays, many of which (Dear Ruth, Kind Sir, Who Was That Lady?) were later committed to film. Krasna turned director for four films -- Princess O'Rourke (1943), The Big Hangover (1950) and The Ambassador's Daughter (1956) -- and served as producer for many more. A longtime friend of comedian Groucho Marx, Krasna collaborated with Groucho on the screenplay of the 1937 film comedy The King and the Chorus Girl and the later stage play Time for Elizabeth. Norman Krasna won a "Best Original Screenplay" Academy Award for Princess O'Rourke, and earned nominations for The Richest Girl in the World, Fury and The Devil and Miss Jones (1941).

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