“The best part of one’s life is the working part, the creative part. Believe me, I love to succeed…however, the real spiritual and emotional excitement is in the doing.” – Garson Kanin
Kanin, born this day in 1912, was a prolific writer and noted Broadway director. Among his many hit shows were The Diary of Anne Frank, Funny Girl and Born Yesterday, which he started writing while serving as a soldier and filmmaker in World War II. His major war role was documenting Dwight Eisenhower’s official record of the Allied Invasion, resulting in the Academy Award-winning documentary True Glory. A novelist, too, he wrote the bestseller Smash, basis for the hit television series a few years ago.
His most famous line from the long-running Born Yesterday – in which I was fortunate enough to have a community theater role – is enshrined on a New York City Public Library plaque. It was delivered by his journalist character Paul Verrall, who says: "I want everyone to be smart. As smart as they can be. A world of ignorant people is too dangerous to live in."
Kanin, who died in 1999, also is famously quoted as saying, “When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt.” Seventy-five years after he said that, his writer's moments continue to speak.
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