Sam H. Harris (1872-1941)

From 1904 to 1919, Sam Harris and George M. Cohan had one of those legends on Broadway, a 50/50 production partnership created with a handshake.  During this period, the partners concentrated on the prolific output of Cohan.  

Sam Harris, Broadway Producer

Sam Harris

After 1919, Harris worked with many of the other composers on Broadway:  Albert Von Tilzer (The Honey Girl, 1920.14); Irving Berlin (The Cocoanuts, 1925.45 and Face the Music, 1932.05); Burt Kalmar and Harry Ruby (Animal Crackers, 1928.38); George Gershwin (Of Thee I Sing, 1931.48 and Let ‘Em Eat Cake, 1933.25); Richard Rodgers (I’d Rather Be Right, 1937.13); and Kurt Weill (Lady in the Dark, 1941.04).

In collaboration with Max Gordon, Harris produced Cole Porter’s Jubilee (1935.14) from the book written by a rising star named Moss Hart. One of the actors in the show was Montgomery Clift, who went on to become a major movie star.

Harris also produced non-musical plays, working with George S. Kaufman on a number of projects:  Once in a Lifetime (Hart and Kaufman, 1930), Dinner at Eight (Edna Ferber and Kaufman, 1932), You Can’t Take It With You (Hart and Kaufman, 1936) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (Hart and Kaufman, 1939).

Autographed Photo of George M. Cohan and SAM H. Harris

Cohan and Harris

Upon his death in 1941, Harris was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, next to Cohan’s grave.  It is fitting that, in death, they are partners once again.  Each helped to change the face of Broadway, both in musicals and in comedy.