Jerry Bock biography
At Writers Theatre: She Loves Me
Jerry Bock was born in New Haven, Connecticut on November 23, 1928. That was his first out-of-town tryout. Thirty years later, he and Sheldon Harnick gave birth to The Body Beautiful in Philadelphia. That was his fourth out-of-town tryout. In between was Catch a Star, a fleeting revue that, according to critic Walter Kerr, posed the question: "What do you call something between a flop and a smash?" Kerr's answer? "A flash." Next, Jule Styne and Tommy midwifed Bock, Larry Holofcener and George Weiss into birthing Mr. Wonderful starring Sammy Davis Jr. The title song and “Too Close For Comfort” are still active off springs.
Bock and Harnick’s celebrated collaboration yielded five scores in seven years. The Body Beautiful, Fiorello! (winner of Broadway’s triple crown: The Tony Award, The New York Critics’ Circle Award and The Pulitzer Prize in drama, the fourth musical to do so). Tenderloin, She Loves Me (winner of Variety’s poll of critics as best musical, citing Bock and Harnick as best composer and lyricist). Fiddler on the Roof (nine Tonys, notably the citation for best musical of the year), The Apple Tree and The Rothschilds. In addition to the 1989 silver anniversary production of Fiddler (from which a major excerpt was featured in Jerome Robbins' Broadway), a highly esteemed revival of The Rothschilds enjoyed a successful run off-Broadway the following year.
Since then, Bock and Harnick were triply honored by being inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame, receiving the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Spirit of American Creativity Award from the Foundation for a Creative America. But the “award” that Bock holds near and dear is the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Wisconsin. It was there that he met his wife Patti, and it was there that he decided to be a composer.
Mr. Bock is a member of a number of professional guilds and associations, among which the BMI Foundation, Inc. is a membership he relishes.
As for Patti, his wife, George, their son and Portia, their daughter, Bock confesses they are his longest running hit.
[Bio as of November 2010]