A native New Yorker, Chodorov was born on August 8, 1911. After working as a Wall Street runner and a newspaper reporter, he sought success in Hollywood, where his first screen credit was The Case of the Lucky Legs (1935). On the West Coast, Chodorov met writing partner Joseph Fields, the son of vaudevillian Lew Fields (Weber & Fields) and brother of writer Herbert Fields and writer-lyricist Dorothy Fields. It was also in California that Chodorov met his wife, Rhea; their 67-year marriage ended with her death in 1999.
The first Chodorov-Fields collaboration for Broadway was the 1935 play Schoolhouse on the Lot. Their second teaming was My Sister Eileen, which starred Shirley Booth as Ruth and was directed by George S. Kaufman. While the show was running, Chodorov and Fields wrote another hit, 1941's Junior Miss, directed by Moss Hart. Brian Aherne and Arlene Francis co-starred in the 1945 Chodorov-Fields comedy The French Touch. Chodorov contributed sketches to the 1950 revue Alive and Kicking, the cast of which included David Burns, Jack Gilford, Jack Cassidy, Carl Reiner, Bobby Van -- and, in her Broadway debut, Gwen Verdon.
The 1942 movie version of My Sister Eileen starred Rosalind Russell, who 11 years later again played Ruth in Wonderful Town, which won the Tony as Best Musical; Chodorov and Fields wrote the book for the show. Russell starred in a TV production in 1958. Next came 1954's Girl in Pink Tights, which was not a success. It starred Jeanmaire and marked the debut of the young Hines brothers, Gregory and Maurice. Anniversary Waltz was a big hit in 1954; directed by Moss Hart, it starred his wife, Kitty Carlisle, and Macdonald Carey.
Another success for Chodorov was The Ponder Heart in 1956, which starred David Wayne and Una Merkel. In 1958, Chodorov turned director for two plays -- Make a Miracle, starring Sam Levene, and The Gazebo, starring Walter Slezak (in his last stage role) and Jayne Meadows. He also directed the unsuccessful 1960 musical Christine, starring Maureen O'Hara.
Chodorov wrote the book for the 1964 musical I Had a Ball, which starred Buddy Hackett, Richard Kiley, and Karen Morrow. His 1966 comedy 3 Bags Full was short lived. Chodorov'slast play (written in collaboration with Norman Panama) was A Talent for Murder (1981), which ran for two months in a production that starred Claudette Colbert and Jean-Pierre Aumont. In 1984, the playwrights adapted the property for a television production that starred Angela Lansbury and Laurence Olivier.
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