Marcus Cook Connelly (13 December 1890 - 21 December 1980) was an American playwright, director, producer, performer, and lyricist. He was a key member of the Algonquin Round Table, and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1930.
Connelly was born to actor and hotelier Patrick Joseph Connelly and actress Mabel Louise Cook in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. He began writing plays at the age of five, and would later become a journalist for the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph until he moved to New York City. In 1919 he joined the Algonquin Round Table.
Connelly had contributed to several Broadway musicals before teaming up with his most important collaborator, George S. Kaufman, in 1921. During their four-year partnership, they wrote five comedies -- Dulcy (1921), To the Ladies (1922), Merton of the Movies (1922), The Deep Tangled Wildwood (1923) and Beggar on Horseback (1924) -- and also co-directed and contributed sketches to the 1922 revue The '49ers, collaborated on the book to the musical comedy Helen of Troy, New York (1923), and wrote both the book and lyrics for another musical comedy, Be Yourself (1924).
Connelly received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Green Pastures in 1930. The play, a re-telling of the Old Testament, was a landmark in American drama; boasting the first all-black Broadway cast. He contributed verse and articles to Life, Everybody's, and other magazines.
Connelly was one of the wittiest members of the Algonquin Round Table. He said, "I always knew children were anti-social. But the children of the West Side -- they're savage."
In 1968, Connelly published his memoirs, Voices Offstage.
A film about the Round Table members, The Ten-Year Lunch (1987), won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; Connelly was interviewed for it. A 1994 movie about the group was entitled Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. A musical called THE TALK OF THE TOWN was performed in 2005-2006 in the Algonquin's Oak Room cabaret. The show is currently on a tour of the United States. Connelly is a character in the show, and is played by New York actor Stephen Wilde (), who was critically-acclaimed for his performance by John Simon of Bloomberg News and Howard Kissel of the New York Daily News.
Connelly was portrayed by the actor Matt Malloy in the 1994 film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.
Full article ▸