Marc Connelly, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning play "The Green Pastures" and who was for decades a major figure in the Broadway theater, died yesterday in a hospital in New York City. He was 90.
An actor, director and producer as well as a playwright, Mr. Connelly was one of those who helped create and perpetuate the legend and mystique of the New York stage as an arena of artistry as well as enter [99TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]
In an interview given in 1968, Mr. Connelly said he was "afraid that the present, racial pride would count against "The Green Pastures' and its innocent, childlike -- remember now, not childish, childlike -- characters."
Mr. Connelly was born in McKeesport, Pa., Dec. 13, 1890, and went to work as a newspaper reporter as a young man. An interest in writing for amateur theatricals brought him in 1916 to New York where he saw a song for which he had written lyrics performed in a Broadway play. Stage-struck, Mr. Connelly remained in New York, and went on to collaborate on several plays in the 1920s with George S. Kaufman.
Their output included "Dulcy," "Be Yourself" and "Beggar on Horseback."
They also wrote skits for the Ziegfeld Follies.
Mr. Connelly began directing on Broadway in 1926, and served stints in Hollywood as a screenwriter.
His acting career began in 1944, when he played the stage manager in a revival of "Our Town," and he portrayed a college professor on Broadway in 1959 in "Tall Story" and in the 1960 film version of the play.
In 1975 he published his first novel, a work of comic suspense called "A Souvenir from Qam." In addition to numerous magazine articles, he wrote short stores, one of which, "Coroner's Inquests" won the O. Henry prize in 1930.
A founding member of the Dramatists' Guild, he taught playwriting at Yale from 1946 to 1950, and lectured widely elsewhere.
His marriage in 1930 to Madeline Hurlock ended in divorce five years later.