George Gershwin

Composer, Songwriter, Pianist
Along with Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter, George Gershwin ranks as one of the most important American composers of the first half of the Twentieth Century. Like Berlin and Kern, he was son of immigrant Jews ... Read more »
Born: 09/25/1898 in Brooklyn, New York, USA

Filmography

Music (209)

Big Eyes 2014 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song)

Malaria 2014 (Movie)

(Music)

Mr. Peabody & Sherman 2014 (Movie)

("Rhapsody In Blue") (Song)

Ginger and Rosa 2013 (Movie)

("The Man I Love") (Song)

Labor Day 2013 (Movie)

("It Ain't Necessarily So") (Song)

The Great Gatsby 2013 (Movie)

("Rhapsody In Blue") (Song)

Mildred Pierce 2011 (Tv Show)

Song

W.E. 2011 (Movie)

("Sweet And Low Down") (Song)

Eat Pray Love 2010 (Movie)

("'S Wonderful") (Song)

Edge of Darkness 2010 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Song)

Public Enemies 2009 (Movie)

("The Man I Love" (Live From Carnegie Hall)) (Song)

Definitely, Maybe 2008 (Movie)

("I've Got A Crush On You") (Song)

Leatherheads 2008 (Movie)

("The Man I Love") (Song)

Run, Fat Boy, Run 2008 (Movie)

("Nice Work If You Can Get It") (Song)

Killer of Sheep 2007 (Movie)

("Lullabye") (Song)

The Wedding Weekend 2007 (Movie)

("Our Love is Here to Stay") (Song)

Man of the Year 2006 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song)

Take the Lead 2006 (Movie)

("I Got Rhythm (Take The Lead Remix)") (Song)

The Good Shepherd 2006 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Song)

Spanglish 2004 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song)

The Aviator 2004 (Movie)

("I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise") (Song)

American Splendor 2003 (Movie)

("Lady Be Good") (Song)

Mona Lisa Smile 2003 (Movie)

("S Wonderful") (Music)

Mona Lisa Smile 2003 (Movie)

("I've Got A Crush On You") (Song)

The Human Stain 2003 (Movie)

("Imbraceable You") (Song)

Together 2003 (Movie)

("It Ain't Necessarily So") (Song)

Catch Me If You Can 2002 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Song)

Hart's War 2002 (Movie)

("Summertime (from 'Porgy & Bess')") (Song)

Colorado Symphony: Jazz For Orchestra 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Music

Fantasia 2000 2000 (Movie)

("Rhapsody In Blue") (Music)

Kitty Carlisle Hart: My Broadway Memories 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Music

Love's Labour's Lost 2000 (Movie)

songs("I'd Rather Charleston" "I've Got a Crush On You" "They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song)

Return to Me 2000 (Movie)

songs("Soon" "But Not For Me" "Someone to Watch Over Me") (Song)

The Gershwins' "Crazy For You" 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Music

Yiyi 2000 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

A Walk on the Moon 1999 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

At First Sight 1999 (Movie)

songs("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song)

Bicentennial Man 1999 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Song)

Carnegie Hall Opening Night 1998 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Music

Red Hot + Rhapsody 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Song

The Bachelor 1999 (Movie)

("Let's Call the Whole Thing Off") (Song)

The Cider House Rules 1999 (Movie)

("Someone to Watch Over Me") (Song Performer)

The Cider House Rules 1999 (Movie)

(Song)

Celebrity 1998 (Movie)

songs("I Got Rhythm" "Soon") (Song)

Gershwin on Ice 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Music

Living Out Loud 1998 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away from Me") (Song)

Meet Joe Black 1998 (Movie)

("Our Love is Here to Stay") (Song)

Mojo 1998 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

My Giant 1998 (Movie)

("I Got Plenty O'Nuttin") (Song)

Porgy and Bess: An American Voice 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Music

The Proposition 1998 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away from Me") (Song)

The Real Howard Spitz 1998 (Movie)

("Things Are Looking Up") (Song)

There's Something About Mary 1998 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

As Good As It Gets 1997 (Movie)

("An American in Paris") (Song)

Einstein: Light to the Power of 2 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Music

L.A. Confidential 1997 (Movie)

("But Not for Me") (Song)

That Old Feeling 1997 (Movie)

("Our Love Is Here to Stay") (Song)

The Three Sopranos 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Music

A Capitol Fourth (1996) 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Music

Al Jarreau: Tenderness 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Song

Marsalis on Music 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Music

Neil Simon's Jake's Women 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Song

The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Music

The Neon Bible 1996 (Movie)

song composer("How Long Has This Been Goin' On") (Composer)

Gershwin 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Music

Miami Rhapsody 1995 (Movie)

("How Long Has This Been Going On") (Song)

The Sound of Julie Andrews 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Music

Ballanchine Celebration 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Music

Four Weddings and A Funeral 1994 (Movie)

("But Not For Me") (Song)

It Could Happen to You 1994 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Song)

That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

("Fascinatin' Rhythm" from "Lady Be Good" "An American in Paris" from "An American in Paris") (Music)

The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Music

A Capitol Fourth 1993 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Music

Disney's Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Music

For Better Or For Worse 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Music

Poetic Justice 1993 (Movie)

("Rhapsody in Blue") (Song)

Hero 1992 (Movie)

("The Man I Love Hoping That Someday You'd Care") (Song)

Jennifer Eight 1992 (Movie)

("Someone To Watch Over Me") (Song)

Michael Feinstein & Friends 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Song

The 1991 Miss America Pageant 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Music

The Public Eye 1992 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Song)

He Said, She Said 1991 (Movie)

("Blah-Blah-Blah") (Song)

My Girl 1991 (Movie)

("I Got Rhythm") (Song)

The Fred Astaire Songbook 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Music

The Indian Runner 1991 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

Betsy's Wedding 1990 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Song)

Gremlins 2: The New Batch 1990 (Movie)

("Rhapsody in Blue") (Music)

A Capitol Fourth 1989 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Music

Ask Me Again 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Music

Enemies, A Love Story 1989 (Movie)

("Love Is Here to Stay") (Music)

Jacksonville Jazz IX 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Song

Loverboy 1989 (Movie)

("They Can't Take That Away From Me") (Music)

See You in the Morning 1989 (Movie)

("Our Love Is Here to Stay" "Embraceable You") (Music)

When Harry Met Sally... 1989 (Movie)

("Our Love Is Here to Stay" "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" "But Not For Me") (Music)

Beaches 1988 (Movie)

("I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise") (Music)

Celebrating Gershwin 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Music

Evening at Pops (06/18/88) 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Song

Happy New Year, U.S.A.! 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Music

Maureen McGovern on Stage at Wolf Trap 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Song

New York Philharmonic New Year's Gala Concert 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Music

Beyond Therapy 1987 (Movie)

("Someone to Watch Over Me") (Music)

Evening at Pops (07/11/87) 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Song

Evening at Pops (08/01/87) 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Music

Los Amores de Kafka 1987 (Movie)

(Music)

Man on Fire 1987 (Movie)

("Someone to Watch Over Me") (Music)

Someone to Watch Over Me 1987 (Movie)

("Someone to Watch Over Me") (Music)

The Witches of Eastwick 1987 (Movie)

("Someone to Watch Over Me") (Music)

A Capitol Fourth -- 1986 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Music

Invocation Maya Deren 1986 (Movie)

("The Man I Love") (Music)

Off Beat 1986 (Movie)

("Embraceable You) (Music)

Round Midnight 1986 (Movie)

("How Long Has This Been Going On") (Music)

The Naked Gershwin 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Music

After Hours 1985 (Movie)

("Someone to Watch Over Me") (Song)

White Nights 1985 (Movie)

("There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon For New York") (Music)

City Heat 1984 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Music)

Hot Dog... The Movie 1984 (Movie)

("I Will Be Here For You") (Song)

Kak Molody My Byli 1984 (Movie)

(Music)

Once Upon A Time In America 1984 (Movie)

("Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess") (Music)

Deal of the Century 1983 (Movie)

("Someone to Watch Over Me") (Song)

Purple Haze 1983 (Movie)

("Rhapsody in Blue") (Music)

American Pop 1981 (Movie)

songs("Our Love Is Here to Stay" "I Got Rhythm" "Swanee" "Somebody Loves Me" "Summertime") (Song)

Jazz in Exile 1981 (Movie)

("Summertime") (Song)

Rhapsody & Song: A Tribute to George Gershwin 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Music

They All Laughed 1981 (Movie)

("They All Laughed") (Song)

Joe Albany... A Jazz Life 1979 (Movie)

("Embraceable You") (Song)

Manhattan 1979 (Movie)

songs("Love Is Sweeping the Country" "Land of the Gay Caballero" "Sweet and Low Down" "I've Got a Crush on You" "Do-Do-Do" "S'Wonderful" "Oh Lady Be Good" "Strike Up the Band" "Embraceable You" "Someone to Watch Over Me" "He Loves and She Loves" "But Not (Song)

Manhattan 1979 (Movie)

("Rhapsody in Blue") (Music)

New York, New York 1977 (Movie)

(Music)

Music From America: Rhapsody in Blue 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Music

The Choirboys 1976 (Movie)

("I've Got a Crush on You") (Music)

A Matter of Time 1975 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore 1974 (Movie)

("I've Got a Crush on You") (Song)

Violer er bla 1974 (Movie)

(Music)

Ain't Misbehaving 1973 (Movie)

(Music)

Janis 1973 (Movie)

(Music)

Lady Sings the Blues 1972 (Movie)

(Music)

What's Up Doc? 1972 (Movie)

(Music)

A Safe Place 1970 (Movie)

(Music)

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 1969 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Flesh 1968 (Movie)

(Music)

Star! 1968 (Movie)

songs("Someone to Watch Over Me" "Do, Do, Do" "Dear Little Boy") (Song)

Thoroughly Modern Millie 1967 (Movie)

(Music)

Kiss Me, Stupid 1964 (Movie)

songs("Sophia" "I'm A Poached Egg" "All the Livelong Day") (Song)

When the Boys Meet the Girls 1964 (Movie)

(Music)

The Notorious Landlady 1962 (Movie)

("A Foggy Day In London Town") (Song)

But Not For Me 1958 (Movie)

("But Not For Me") (Music)

Porgy and Bess 1958 (Movie)

("Summertime" "A Woman Is a Sometime Thing" "Honey Man's Call" "They Pass By Singing" "Oh Little Stars" "Gone Gone Gone" "Fill Up De Saucer" "My Man's Gone Now" "The Train Is at the Station" "Oh I Got Plenty O' Nuttin'" "Bess You Is My Woman Now" "Oh I Ca (Music)

Beau James 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

Funny Face 1957 (Movie)

songs("Let's Kiss and Make Up" "He Loves and She Loves" "Funny Face" "How Long Has This Been Going On?" "Clap Yo' Hands" "S'Wonderful") (Song)

Funny Face 1957 (Movie)

(Music)

The Helen Morgan Story 1957 (Movie)

songs("Someone To Watch Over Me" "Do Do Do" "I've Got A Crush On You") (Song)

That Certain Feeling 1956 (Movie)

(Music)

Pete Kelly's Blues 1955 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Sincerely Yours 1955 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Three For the Show 1955 (Movie)

("I've Got A Crush On You") (Song)

A Star Is Born 1954 (Movie)

("Swanee") (Song)

The Glenn Miller Story 1954 (Movie)

("Bidin' My Time") (Music)

Young at Heart 1954 (Movie)

("Someone To Watch Over Me") (Song)

Fearless Fagan 1952 (Movie)

(Music)

An American in Paris 1950 (Movie)

(Music)

Young Man With a Horn 1950 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Always Leave Them Laughing 1948 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Jolson Sings Again 1948 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Dark Passage 1947 (Movie)

songs (Song)

George White's Scandals 1945 (Movie)

songs (Song)

The Jolson Story 1945 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Where Do We Go From Here? 1945 (Movie)

(Music)

Broadway Rhythm 1943 (Movie)

songs (Song)

The Goldwyn Follies 1937 (Movie)

(Music)

A Damsel in Distress 1936 (Movie)

(Music)

Shall We Dance 1936 (Movie)

(Music)

The Great Ziegfeld 1935 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Komposition in Blau 1934 (Movie)

(Music)

Song of the Flame 1929 (Movie)

(Music)

Life and Death of 9413, a Hollywood Extra 1926 (Movie)

songs (Song)

Delicious (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Girl Crazy (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

King of Jazz (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Lady Be Good (Movie)

(Featured Music)

Of Thee I Sing (TV Show)

Music

Rhapsody in Blue (Movie)

(Featured Music)

The Man I Love (Movie)

(Featured Music)

The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (Movie)

(Featured Music)

The World Moves On (Movie)

(Composer (Music Score))

Ziegfeld Follies (Movie)

(Featured Music)
Production Management (2)

Crazy For You (Movie)

(From Musical by)

Girl Crazy (Movie)

(From Musical by)

Biography

Along with Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter, George Gershwin ranks as one of the most important American composers of the first half of the Twentieth Century. Like Berlin and Kern, he was son of immigrant Jews who settled in NYC, had little interest in formal schooling and originally made his mark on Broadway. Unlike the others, however, Gershwin also proved to be a master classical composer fashioning the familiar "Rhapsody in Blue" (1924) and creating what is arguably the first popular American opera "Porgy and Bess" (1935).

Relationships

Marguerite Eriksen

Companion

Mollie Charleston

Companion

Morris Gershovitz

Father
changed family name first to Gershvin and later Gershwin married in 1895 held a variety of jobs

Rose Gershovitz

Mother
married in 1895

Arthur Gershwin

Brother
born on March 14, 1900 died in 1981

Ira Gershwin

Brother
born on December 6, 1896 collaborated on numerous songs with his brother George died on August 17, 1983

Paulette Goddard

Companion
reportedly courted her while she was still married to Charlie Chaplin

Frances Godowsky

Sister
born on December 6, 1906 died on January 18, 1999 at age 92

Margaret Manners

Companion
was married at time of her liaison with Gershwin allegedly had a son with Gershwin who was born on May 18, 1926 as Albert Schneider later adopted the name Alan Gershwin his paternity claims have never been conclusively proven

Kay Swift

Companion

EDUCATION

High School of Commerce

New York , New York

P S 25

New York , New York

Milestones

1959

Feature adaptation of "Porgy and Bess" released, directed by Otto Preminger

1957

"Funny Face" filmed with a revised story, teaming Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn

1951

Vincente Minnelli's "An American in Paris" used his musical suite as the basis of an original film musical teaming Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron

1944

Portrayed by Robert Alda in the studio biopic "Rhapsody in Blue"

1938

Last songs "Love Walked In" and "Love Is Here to Stay", included in "The Goldwyn Follies"

1937

Underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor; died on July 11

1937

Posthumous exhibition of paintings

1937

Provided the songs to "Shall We Dance" and "A Damsel in Distress", both starring Fred Astaire; earned Oscar nomination for the song "They Can't Take That Away From Me" from the former

1936

Moved to L.A.

1935

"Porgy and Bess" debuted at the Alvin Theater

1935

Signed to a contract by RKO

1935

Formed Gershwin Publishing Co.

1934

Hosted the NYC-based radio program "Music By Gershwin"

1933

Had flops with "Pardon My English" and "Let 'Em Eat Cake", the sequel to "Of Thee I Sing"

1932

Debuted "Second Rhapsody" at the Boston Symphony; played piano

1932

"Of Thee I Sing" became first musical to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Drama

1932

Composed "Cuban Overture"

1931

Premiered the political satire "Of Thee I Sing"

1930

With brother Ira, signed contract to write songs for the Fox feature "Delicious"

1930

Had Broadway hit with "Girl Crazy", starring Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers

1929

Debut as symphony conductor

1928

"An American in Paris" debuted at Carnegie Hall in December

1927

Had failure with first version of "Strike Up the Band" (written with Ira)

1927

Bounced back with a reteaming with the Astaires, "Funny Face"

1926

Had stage hit with "Oh, Kay!"

1925

Commissioned by the Symphonic Society of New York to write "The Concerto in F"

1925

Made the cover of TIME magazine (July)

1924

Paul Whiteman and his orchestra introduced "Rhapsody in Blue" as part of "An Experiment in Modern Music at Aeolian Hall" in NYC

1923

First film score, "The Sunshine Trail"

1922

Initial stage collaboration with Fred and Adele Astaire, contributed songs to "For Goodness Sake"

1922

Wrote first opera, "Blue Monday"; a failure it was dropped from the "Scandals"

1921

First stage musical written with brother Ira (who used the pen name Arthur Francis), "A Dangerous Maid"

1920

Provided songs for editions of "George White's Scandals"

1920

Al Jolson interpolated the Gershwin song "Swanee" into "Sinbad"; first hit song

1919

First complete score for a Broadway musical "La La Lucille"

1918

Signed to a contract as staff composer with Harms Publishing Co.

1918

Toured with Louise Dresser as her accompanist

1917

Served as rehearsal pianist for the show "Miss 1917"

1916

First song on Broadway "The Runaway Girl" in "The Passing Show of 1916"

1916

First published song "When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em" (lyric by Murray Roth); earned five dollars for the song

1915

Began making piano rolls; also played piano at nightclubs

1914

Professional debut as a pianist, performed at the Finlay Club; arranged by Ira

1913

Worked for the summer playing piano at a resort in the Catskills

1910

Family purchased a piano; began to take lessons

With brother Ira, wrote stage musical "Lady, Be Good"; production starred the Astaires; song "The Man I Love" cut during the pre-Broadway tour

Contributed several songs to the unsuccessful stage musical "Half Past Eight"

Worked as a song plugger at Remick's

Family moved frequently when Gershwin was growing up; as his father landed a new job, the family changed residences so he could walk to work

Bonus Trivia

.

In addition to his compositional skill, Gershwin was an amateur painter and art collector.

.

Oscar Levant tells of an overnight train trip taken with George Gershwin. When it came time to go to bed, George settled into the more comfortable lower berth leaving Levant to climb to the upper. He later recounted, "I adjusted myself to the inconveniences of the upper berth, reflecting on the artistic economic progression by which Paderewski has a private car, Gershwin a drawing room and Levant a sleepless night. At this moment my light must have disturbed George's doze, for he opened his eyes, looked up at me and said drowsily, 'Upper berth - lower berth. That's the difference between talent and genius'."

.

"This is the Gershwin miracle. These songs never age. Their ability to project unalloyed joy never diminishes. If performers occasionally need to speak to convey their wonder at this miracle, it's forgivable. Nothing they say speaks as directly or as magnificently as the songs themselves." --From "Fascinatin' Rhythms" by Howard Kissel, Daily News, February 8, 1998.

.

An incident described by George's friend, the publisher Bennett Cerf, "One day, I happened to remark that the score of one of his infrequent failures, Pardon My English, was below par. George demurred. All of us were sunbathing in the nude; George insisted that we all go inside while he proved his point by going through the score from opening chorus to finale. I can still see him sitting at the piano, stark naked, playing the songs and singing them too at the top of his voice."

.

"I'd like my music to keep people - all kinds of people - awake when they should be sleeping. I'd like my compositions to be so vital that I'd be required by law to dispense sedatives with each score sold." --George Gershwin.

.

"There is only one important thing in music and that is ideas and feelings. The various tonalities and sounds mean nothing unless they grow out of ideas. Not many composers have ideas. Far more of them know how to use strange instruments which do not require ideas. Whoever has inspired ideas will write the great music of our period." --George Gershwin.

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