David Belasco

David Belasco (July 25, 1853 – May 14, 1931) was an American theatrical producer, impresario, director and playwright. Born in San Francisco, California, where his Sephardic Jewish parents had moved from London, England, during the Gold Rush, he began working in a San Francisco theatre doing a variety of routine jobs, such as call boy and script copier. He eventually was given the opportunity to act and serve as a stage manager, learning the business inside out. A gifted playwright, Belasco went to New York City in 1882 where he worked as stage manager for the Madison Square Theatre, and then the old Lyceum Theatre while writing plays. By 1895, he was so successful that he set himself up as an independent producer. During his long creative career, stretching between 1884 and 1930, Belasco either wrote, directed, or produced more than 100 Broadway plays including Hearts of Oak, The Heart of Maryland, and Du Barry, making him the most powerful personality on the New York city theater scene.

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