Nugent, Elliott John

Born: September 20, 1899
August 9, 1980

Ohio connection: Birth


Elliott John Nugent was born in 1899 in Dover, Ohio. He was the son of playwright/producer/actor, John C. Nugent, and Grace Mary (Fertig) Nugent. At the age of four, he began a long career in film, theater, and television. He first appeared in vaudeville with his parents in the Orpheum theatre in Los Angeles in 1904. After high school, he attended Ohio State University, graduating with a B.A. degree in 1919. In 1921, he married Norma Lee, and they would have three children together: Lee, Barbara, and Nancy. Nugent acted in many Broadway plays, including DulcyKempyThe Poor NutThe Male Animal, and The Voice of the Turtle. He directed A Place of Our Own and the film version of The Male Animal. He was co-producer of The Seven-Year Itch and director of To-Morrow the World and All in Favor. He wrote a number of plays with his father, J. C. Nugent including KempyThe Poor NutMoney to BurnThe Rising Son, and Knockout. He joined with James Thurber on The Male Animal. He also wrote a number of unpublished plays. He directed numerous motion pictures, including Three Cornered MoonShe Loves Me NotThe Cat and the CanaryUp in ArmsWelcome StrangerMy Favorite Brunette, and Just for You. He became a favorite director for some of the top Hollywood comedians, including Harold Lloyd, Danny Kaye, and Bob Hope. He wrote a novel, Of Cheat and Charmer, and his autobiography, Events Leading Up to the Comedy. Elliott Nugent died August 9, 1980, in New York City.

Critics prize, 1944, for the best male performance on Broadway; honorary degree of Doctor of Letters, Ohio State University, 1965.