Paul Girard Smith

Biography: Paul Gerard started writing musical revues when he was ten years old (his baseball team needed uniforms and this was a great way to raise money!). His talent for words led him into writing and directing the SIXTH MARINE REVUE while he was in Germany with the Marines in WWI. Returning stateside he started writing vaudeville sketches and became one of the few vaudeville writers to be credited on the playbill. He wrote for many vaudville stars who later became well known on television. Among them: Barbara Stanwick, Jimmy Cagney, and Pat O'Brien. Paul Gerard also penned the Broadway hits FUNNY FACE with Fred Astaire, KEEP KOOL with Hazel Dawn, and HEADS UP with Ray Bolger. He also wrote and directed portions of the ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES of 1923, 1924, and 1925. Summoned to Hollywood by Buster Keaton, he joined the writing staff of THE GENERAL and then wrote THE BATTLING BUTLER for Keaton. In the mean time he was one of the writers for some of the very first talkies made inPaul Gerard started writing musical revues when he was ten years old (his baseball team needed uniforms and this was a great way to raise money!). His talent for words led him into writing and directing the SIXTH MARINE REVUE while he was in Germany with the Marines in WWI. Returning stateside he started writing vaudeville sketches and became one of the few vaudeville writers to be credited on the playbill. He wrote for many vaudville stars who later became well known on television. Among them: Barbara Stanwick, Jimmy Cagney, and Pat O'Brien. Paul Gerard also penned the Broadway hits FUNNY FACE with Fred Astaire, KEEP KOOL with Hazel Dawn, and HEADS UP with Ray Bolger. He also wrote and directed portions of the ZIEGFIELD FOLLIES of 1923, 1924, and 1925. Summoned to Hollywood by Buster Keaton, he joined the writing staff of THE GENERAL and then wrote THE BATTLING BUTLER for Keaton. In the mean time he was one of the writers for some of the very first talkies made in Hollywood: Fox's MOTHER KNOWS BEST and IN OLD ARIZONA. He also gave the first words to Harold Lloyd in WELCOME DANGER and FEET FIRST. The next twenty years saw Paul Gerard's name in the writing credits at all the major studios working with the likes of Charlie Ruggles, the Andrews Sisters, Stuart Erwin, Victor Moore, Broadrick Crawford, Edgar Bergen (and Charlie, of course), Joe E. Brown and John Wayne. He turned to radio and wrote several dozen sketches for Fibber McGee and Molly, for Edgar Bergen, Charlie Ruggles and even Mae West. His television writing includes early programs for ABC (the WRENN'S NEST and THE GAY NINETIES) and several for the Disney studios (WIND IN THE WILLIOWS and the short film VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER). He supplied TV material to Joe Laurie, Jr., Leo Carillo, Charlie Ruggles, and LeRoy Prinz. Paul Gerard's brand of humor and fervent belief that TV would be the return to the glory days of vaudeville were were not to catch on. His writing was no longer 'of the time' and he spent his remaining years writing continuously for his own entertainment. Most all of his written work is available as the Paul Gerard Smith Collection at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum. Expand

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