- (1896-1983)A native of New York City, Samson Raphaelson was educated at the University of Illinois. His most enduring play was also his first. The Jazz Singer (1925), on stage with George Jessel and in motion pictures starring Al Jolson in the first feature-length sound ("talkie") film, expressed the strains of immigrants caught between the ways of the old world and the rapidly changing modern age. Raphaelson moved easily between popular comedy and light drama, but his theatrical success was hit-and-miss. He followed The Jazz Singer with Young Love (1928), The Wooden Slipper (1934), Accent on Youth* (1934), White Man (1936), Skylark* (1939), and others. Raphaelson was perhaps more successful writing for the screen and is responsible for collaborating on classics including Trouble in Paradise (1932), The Merry Widow (1934), The Shop around the Corner (1940), and Heaven Can Wait (1943), as well as movie adaptations of his plays.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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