The collaborative relationship has become a ubiquitous force in the authorship of stage and film musicals, to such a degree that many individual lyricists and composers are fated to go down in history as one half of a lifelong partnership -- from Rodgers & Hart to Kander & Ebb. This particularly applies to film and stage librettist, playwright, and occasional film scenarist Betty Comden, forever associated with writing partner Adolph Green. By teaming up with Green, Comden chose to share her fame, but in so doing, co-created such seminal works as Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, and Bells Are Ringing, and forever altered the face of the Broadway and Hollywood musical. The Comden-Green catalogue of tunes never fails to astonish; with such titles as "New York, New York," "It's Love," "Just in Time," "Some Other Time," and "The Party's Over," it reads like a cruise through the Great American Songbook.
Born on May 3, 1917, in Brooklyn, NY, to an attorney father and a schoolteacher mother, Elizabeth Cohen attended Erasmus Hall High School and then enrolled as an undergraduate drama student at New York University, where she took the stage name Betty Comden, had rhinoplasty to render herself more "suitable" for the Broadway stage, and performed with the Washington Square Players. During this period, Comden became acquainted not only with Green, but with John Frank, Alvin Hammer, and Judy Holliday.