Partner Edwin Aldridge, buried together
New York University, New York, 10003, Stati Uniti
Columbia University, 116th St & Broadway, New York, NY 10027, Stati Uniti
Green-Wood Cemetery, 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232, Stati Uniti
Fred Ebb (April 8, 1928 – September 11, 2004) was an American musical theatre lyricist who had many successful collaborations with composer John Kander. The Kander and Ebb team frequently wrote for such performers as Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera.
Ebb was born to a Jewish family in Manhattan, to Anna Evelyn (née Gritz) and Harry Ebb. He had two sisters, Norma and Estelle.
He worked during the early 1950s bronzing baby shoes, as a trucker's assistant, and was also employed in a department store credit office and at a hosiery company. He graduated from New York University with a bachelor's degree in English Literature, and also earned his master's degree in English from Columbia University.
One of his early collaborators was Phil Springer, and a song they wrote together ("I Never Loved Him Anyhow") was recorded by Carmen McRae in 1956. Another song Ebb wrote with Springer was "Heartbroken" (1953), which was recorded by Judy Garland, the mother of his future protégée, Liza Minnelli. Other Springer-Ebb tunes include "Moonlight Gambler" and "Nevertheless I Never Lost the Blues". "Don't Forget", which he wrote with Norman Leyden, was recorded by singer Eddy Arnold in 1954.
On his first theatrical writing job, he co-wrote the lyrics for the musical revue Baker's Dozen in 1951. He wrote songs with Norman Martin for the revue Put It in Writing (1962). He also worked with composer Paul Klein from the early 1950s onward, contributing songs to the cabaret revue Isn't America Fun (1959) and the Broadway revue From A to Z (1960), directed by Christopher Hewett. With Klein, Ebb wrote his first book musical, Morning Sun. Originally, Bob Fosse was attached as director. Fosse eventually withdrew from the project, and the show was unsuccessful.
Music publisher Tommy Valando introduced Ebb to Kander in 1962. After a few songs such as "My Coloring Book," Kander and Ebb wrote a stage musical, Golden Gate, that was never produced. However, the quality of the score convinced producer Harold Prince to hire them for their first professional production, the George Abbott-directed musical Flora the Red Menace, based on Lester Atwell's novel Love is Just Around the Corner. Although it won star Liza Minnelli a Tony Award, the show closed quickly.
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, NYU, New York City
Their second collaboration, Cabaret, was considerably more successful, running for 1,165-performances. Directed by Prince and based on the John Van Druten play I Am a Camera (which, in turn, was based on the writing of Christopher Isherwood), the musical starred Jill Haworth as Sally Bowles, Bert Convy as Clifford Bradshaw, Lotte Lenya as Fräulein Schneider and Joel Grey as the emcee. The original Broadway production opened on November 20, 1966 and won eight of the 11 Tony Awards for which it was nominated, including Best Musical and Best Score. Adapted into a film by Bob Fosse, it won eight Academy Awards, though not Best Picture. It was revived three times, first in 1987 with Grey reprising his role and again in 1998 in a long-running revival, originally starring Alan Cumming as the emcee and Natasha Richardson as Sally Bowles. The third revival began in 2014 and also starred Alan Cumming this time alongside Michelle Williams.
The team had two works produced outside New York. Over & Over, an adaptation of the Thornton Wilder play The Skin of Our Teeth, was performed at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia in 1999 and has been revamped for a 2007 staging by the Westport Country Playhouse under the title All About Us. The Visit, starring Chita Rivera and John McMartin, was presented by the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, as well as the Signature in Arlington (with George Hearn replacing McMartin).
Ebb died at 76 of a heart attack at his home in New York City.
The San Remo, NYC
Ebb is interred in a mausoleum with Edwin “Eddie” Aldridge (1929–1997) and Martin Cohen (1926–1995) on the banks of Sylvan Water at Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark in Brooklyn, New York. In addition to the names and dates of each man, the phrase, "Together Forever" is chiseled on the front of the mausoleum. On June 14, 2014, Ebb was featured in the first gay-themed tour of Green-Wood Cemetery.