Cowan, Lester

Lester Cowan (1907-1990) was an independent producer of motion picture films during the 1930s and 1940s. He was hired by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1928 and shortly thereafter became active in organizing industry events in California, including the annual Academy Awards and a lecture series on film studies at the University of Southern California. Cowan also assembled the film industry's research council, which was responsible for developing technical standards and conducting audience research. His production credits include "You Can't Cheat On Me" (1939), "My Little Chickadee" (1940), "Ladies in Retirement" (1941), "Commandos Strike At Dawn" (1942), "Tomorrow the World" (1944) and "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945). He collaborated on the proposal for "The Trial of Billie Holiday" with his wife and scriptwriter, Ann Ronell.

Ann Rosenblatt Ronell (1908-1993) was a composer, teacher, vocal coach, and songwriter. During her studies at Radcliffe College, she met George Gershwin, who subsequently gave her a job as a rehearsal pianist for Broadway shows. After writing a handful of successful songs in the 1930s, Ronell began to compose music for films, including a noteworthy collaboration with composer Frank Churchill for the first Disney hit song, "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf?" She received two Oscar nominations as music director for "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945) and also composed a Broadway musical of her own in 1942 ("Count Me In").

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2016-08-16 11:08:38 am

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