was an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
theatrical producer, director, songwriter and composer born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...
Carroll produced and directed numerous Broadway
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...
musicals, including eleven editions of Earl Carroll's Vanities
, Earl Carroll's Sketch Book
, and Murder at the Vanities
Murder at the Vanities is a musical film based on the 1933 Broadway musical with music by Victor Young, made in the pre-Code era, and released by Paramount Pictures. It was directed by Mitchell Leisen, stars Carl Brisson, Jack Oakie, Kitty Carlisle, Gertrude Michael, Toby Wing, and Jessie Ralph...
, which was also made into a film starring Jack Oakie
Jack Oakie was an American actor, starring mostly in films, but also working on stage, radio and television.-Early life:...
. Known as "the troubadour of the nude", Carroll was famous for his productions featuring the most lightly clad showgirl
A showgirl is a dancer or performer in a stage entertainment show. Showgirl is also often used as a term for a promotional model in trade fairs and car shows, etc...
s on Broadway. In 1922, he built the first Earl Carroll Theatre
Earl Carroll Theatre was the name of two important theaters owned by Broadway impresario and showman Earl Carroll. One was located on Broadway in New York City and the other on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood, California.-Broadway:...
in New York
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...
, which was demolished and rebuilt on a grander scale in 1931. He built a second theatre on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, California in 1938.
In 1926, Carroll became involved in a scandal due to a party he threw in honor of Harry Kendall Thaw, the Pittsburgh-bred murderer of Stanford White
Stanford White was an American architect and partner in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, the frontrunner among Beaux-Arts firms. He designed a long series of houses for the rich and the very rich, and various public, institutional, and religious buildings, some of which can be found...
20 years earlier and a potential investor in Broadway shows. During the private party a bathtub was brought out in which there was a nude young woman bathing in illegal liquor. One of the guests at the party was Philip Payne, editor of the New York Mirror
. Although Carroll expected his guests would be circumspect about what happened at the party, Payne published a report. This was noted by federal authorities, and they subpoenaed Carroll to appear (with others) before a grand jury. The authorities were apparently determined to learn the source of the illegal alcohol. Carroll denied the incident happened, but others at the party confirmed it. The federal government prosecuted Carroll for perjury, and he was convicted and sent to the Atlanta Penitentiary for six months.
Carroll wrote the scores for Broadway shows including So Long, Letty
, Canary Cottage
, and The Love Mill
for which he also wrote the libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...
. As a writer of popular songs, his credits include Isle d'Amour
, So Long, Letty
, Dreams of Long Ago
, Give Me All of You
, Just The Way You Are
, and Dreaming
, for which he supplied lyrics to the waltz by Archibald Joyce
Archibald Joyce was a light music composer known for his early waltzes.He first came to prominence with the publication of his Song d'Automne Waltz which fast became a hit...
Earl Carroll died in the crash of United Airlines Flight 624
United Airlines Flight 624, a Douglas DC-6 airliner, registration NC37506, was a scheduled passenger flight that originated in San Diego, California with stops in Los Angeles and Chicago en route to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. The four-engine propeller-driven airplane crashed at 1:41 p.m...
, which also took the life of his girlfriend, Beryl Wallace
Beryl Wallace was an American singer, dancer and actress.Born Beryl Heischuber in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York, she was the eldest of nine children of working class Jewish immigrants from Austria...
, on June 17, 1948, in Aristes, Pennsylvania
Aristes is a census-designated place in Conyngham Township, Columbia County, Pennsylvania, United States. The population was 230 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Bloomsburg–Berwick Micropolitan Statistical Area.-History:...