John Van Druten

John Van Druten was an English playwright known especially for his well-crafted light comedies. He began his career in London and later moved to America where he became a U.S. citizen. His play I Am a Camera was a dramatization of Christopher Isherwood’s The Berlin Stories and became the basis for the 1966 musical Cabaret. Van Druten wrote prolifically from the late 1920s through the early 1950s. Many of his plays were successfully produced in London and New York City, and a number were adapted for film, often by Van Druten himself. His plays include Voice of the Turtle (which is still the ninth longest-running Broadway play of all time), Bell, Book, and Candle, I Remember Mama, Old Acquaintance, There’s Always Juliet, The Distaff Side, and Most of the Game, among many others. In addition to adapting his own works for film, Van Druten wrote or co-wrote screenplays for a number of other films, including the classic Gaslight, Night Must Fall, and Johnny Come Lately. His other literary works feature novels, including  And Then You Wish, A Woman on Her Way, and The Vicarious Years; two memoirs, The Way to the Present, and The Widening Circle; and the manual Playwright at Work. Van Druten also directed several productions of his own plays as well as directing the first production of the musical The King and I on Broadway in 1951 and the London production in 1953. John Van Druten died December 19, 1957, in Indio, California. He was fifty-six.