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Lorenz HartA Poet on Broadway$
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Frederick Nolan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102895.001.0001

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“The Saddest Man I Ever Knew”

“The Saddest Man I Ever Knew”

(p.210) 27 “The Saddest Man I Ever Knew”
Lorenz Hart

Frederick Nolan

Oxford University Press

Irresponsible and raffish though he might often have appeared to be, Lorenz Hart loved his creature comforts. Dorothy Hart said he bought Irish linen handkerchiefs by the dozen and lost them as fast as he took them out of the box. Hart also avoided looking in mirrors: the reverse of vanity. He spent a great deal of his time with Doc Bender. As Hart grew more successful, Bender — perceiving Hart as “big-time” — dug in his claws all the more deeply. It was a merry ride, all expenses paid. Nanette Guilford recalled Hart giving Doc a hundred-dollar bill to go out and buy sandwiches for some unexpected guests. A wisecrack, a clever pun, a prank, a carefully orchestrated practical joke — these were Hart's meat and drink. He needed the excitement, the frenetic activity, as another man needs peace and quiet. The singer Mabel Mercer said: “He was the saddest man I ever knew.”

Keywords:   Lorenz Hart, Dorothy Hart, Doc Bender, Nanette Guilford, Mabel Mercer

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