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Leonard Gershe (June 10, 1922 - March 9, 2002) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and lyricist.

Born in New York City, Gershe made his Broadway debut as a lyricist for the 1950 revue Alive and Kicking. He wrote the book for Harold Rome's musical stage adaptation of Destry Rides Again in 1959, and in 1969 a play, Butterflies are Free. Later Gershe wrote another play, Snacks, intended for Tony Danza.

He wrote the lyrics for the "Born in a Trunk" sequence from the Judy Garland/James Mason musical A Star Is Born.[1] In the 1950s, Gershe wrote ten scripts for the Ann Sothern sitcom Private Secretary. He also wrote a number of episodes of The Lucy Show. His screen credits include Funny Face, 40 Carats, and Butterflies Are Free.

According to World of Wonder, Gershe had a long-term relationship with composer Roger Edens.[2]

Gershe died in Beverly Hills, California from complications from a stroke. He was 79, and now is buried at the Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles.


  • 1958 Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay, Written Directly for the Screen (Funny Face)
  • 1958 Writers Guild of America Award for Best American Musical (Funny Face)
  • 1973 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium (Butterflies Are Free)
  • 1974 Writers Guild of America Award for Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium (40 Carats)


  1. ^ Gershe and Garland were born on the same day. Roger Edens, who wrote the music, was not credited due to a contractual issue. Personal letter to Jim Johnson Archived 2009-01-20 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^