Carleton Carpenter Magicpedia

And while theater was always his great love – he appeared in 10 Broadway productions – he also had roles in some 50 television and film productions. Carpenter’s instincts career-wise were sharper, and his mantra was to embrace the work and eschew the glitz. Gordon Connell said they had black bunting all over Reilly’s dressing room when they returned to the theater. With all of the cuts and changes that were happening on the road to Broadway, Reilly became more and more disenchanted with the show.

Carleton Carpenter

He appeared alongside Ann Sothern in the 1954 television production of Lady in the Dark. Unfortunately, I didn’t direct the first play he did with us very well. But he loved the part, one he would not have been cast in anywhere else and greatly enjoyed being back in Bennington. He came back many times, to do several shows with us. He often stayed with my wife Deborah and me and loved our granddaughter, Cheyanne. He became like a beloved member of the family.

Carleton Carpenter began his acting career in the early ’40s by working for Broadway productions. From there, he became one of the greatest actors of all time. “We were rehearsing and I spotted the song in a pile of old sheet music on the piano,” recalled Carpenter. “I played it for Debbie and we liked it. When I saw Jack Cummings, the producer, walking towards the rehearsal hall, I told Debbie to sing the lyrics very fast. He agreed it would be a good number for the two of us.” Carpenter is an accomplished author with seven other published books along with short stories in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and this, his autobiography, is naturally well written and a great read.

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Carpenter explained that the book took 15 years to complete. And that wasn’t because he uses a Royal typewriter and doesn’t even own a computer. And, at 88, Carpenter will be heading to the Cocoa Village Playhouse, Cocoa, Fla., later this month to appear in “C’mon Get Happy” (see ). Janet Leigh, however, wasn’t impressed with her four-legged co-star. While publicity posters promoted “Janet Leigh,, Keenan Wynn and introducing Fearless Fagan ,” Carpenter says the real Fagan made only one appearance early in the film. If you know of a past magician not listed in MagicPedia, start a New Biography for them or Email us your suggestion.

We opened the Oldcastle Theatre with the musical “Northern Exposure” with music and lyrics by Carleton Carpenter. Creating a theater out of the Old K of C building took more time than we had hoped and it felt important to not go a full calendar year without a production. So we worked like hell on the theater and on the musical to be able to open that December. I remember watching the final dress rehearsal as the show really seemed to be coming together. Tears rolled down my face, greatly relieved, happy for the theater company, joyful that Carp’s musical was getting a second production with some brand-new songs and grateful to have had so many fabulous experiences working with Carleton Carpenter.

  • Another favorite moment for him was in the hat shop scene where Dolly is teaching him to dance.
  • Kelly gave Carp a big hug, talked about old times and old friends and the two entertained the cast with show biz stories.
  • Carpenter wrote special material for Debbie Reynolds, Kaye Ballard, Marlene …
  • We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection.
  • He was afraid of further injury to Carleton and refused to give the go ahead for him to continue with the show.

The soundtrack to their song was released as a single, the first time that had been done, and it sold more than 1 million copies while reaching No. 3 on the Billboard chart. He and Reynolds put together an act and toured the Loews theater circuit at the Capitol in New York and around the country. In 1950, he was signed to a contract with MGM, starting with the film “Summer Stock” alongside Gene Kelly and Judy Garland. He also appeared in “Father of the Bride” with Elizabeth Taylor and “Three Little Worlds,” his first collaboration with Debbie Reynolds. Carleton Carpenter, who performed on stage and screen alongside stars such as Debbie Reynolds in “Two Weeks With Love” and Judy Garland in “Summer Stock,” died Monday in Warwick, N.Y., according to his reps. He was 95. To begin with, Carleton Carpenter made his big-screen debut in 1949 in ‘Lost Boundaries’.

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His career on the stage would last for some 70 years, and include appearing with Angela Lansbury in her 1957 Broadway debut “Hotel Paradiso,” touring in “Hello, Dolly!” with Mary Martin in 1965, and his final Broadway appearance, in 1992’s “Crazy for You.” In 2012, Carpenter received a lifetime achievement award from the Hollywood film organization Cinecon, presented to him by Debbie Reynolds. He also wrote songs including the holiday perennial “Christmas Eve,” recorded by Billy Eckstine, “Cabin in the Woods,” and “Ev’ry Other Day,” which he performed for MGM Records. Actor, songwriter (“Christmas Eve”), composer and author Carleton Carpenter, was educated at Bennington High School. He appeared on Broadway, in “Bright Boy”, “Three to Make Ready”, and “John Murray Anderson’s Almanac,” and on television, and made many records. Carpenter wrote special material for Debbie Reynolds, Kaye Ballard, Marlene …


By the time of the atomic bombing in 1945, he began his career on Broadway by playing a role in a 1944 production of Bright Boy by David Merrick. This was followed by his appearances in Three to Make Ready, John Murray Anderson’s Almanac, and Hotel Paradiso. The men shared their days together in a way Carpenter did not understand, quite yet, was more about romantic love than just camaraderie. Johnny Beecher was marvelous.” Gower also changed the look of Cornelius and Barnaby for this production.