Atteridge, Harold Richard, 1886-1938Variant names
Harold Richard Atteridge (1886-1938) was an American composer, librettist and lyricist primarily for musicals and revues. He wrote the book and lyrics for over 20 musicals and revues for the Shubert family, including several iterations of The Passing Show.
Atteridge was born in Lake Forest, Illinois, the only child of Richard H. Atteridge and Ann T. O'Neill. He attended North Division High School, followed by college at the University of Chicago, where he was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. In 1907 he wrote the Varsity show for the Black Friar's Club, and graduated with a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. His obituary quoted him on experience: "If my success at this work illustrates anything it marks the importance of making an early start at one's profession. ... All during college I was developing a revue and musical show technique in my work for a college organization called the Black Friars. By the time I received my Bachelor of Philosophy degree I was a fairly proficient librettist."
His professional career began in Chicago as a lyricist for a music publishing firm. He first gained attention by writing the lyrics for two songs in the Chicago production of Madame Sherry. Producer George Lederer showed enthusiasm and advised Atteridge to move to New York. He did so in September 1910. He met with Jesse Louis Lasky who engaged him for a show at the New York Follies Bergere. When that venue closed, and with a letter of introduction to J. J. Shubert, Atteridge auditioned some of his songs and was engaged to write for the Shuberts' productions. Over the next two decades, he wrote dozens of shows, often writing both book and lyrics, for Broadway, including many starring Al Jolson, and several reviews in the successful series called The Passing Show.
Atteridge married his first wife, Laura, in 1912. He married his second wife, Mary Teresa Corless, on May 1, 1923. By 1930 he was working in Hollywood, writing film continuities. Later he wrote radio continuities for Al Jolson and Ed Wynn.
Atteridge died on January 15, 1938 of cirrhosis of the liver in Lynbrook, New York. He was survived by his wife.
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