Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Brechers in:
 • Hillside Memorial Park
 • Culver City
 • Los Angeles County
 • California
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Irving Sidney Brecher
Birth: Jan. 17, 1914
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA
Death: Nov. 17, 2008
Los Angeles
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Screenwriter, Producer, Director. He is best remembered as a comedy sketch writer who wrote for Milton Berle, Henny Youngman, and the Marx Brothers, as well as writing the screenplays for the movie musicals "Meet Me in St. Louis" (1944, which he was nominated for an Academy Award) and "Bye Bye Birdie" (1963). He was born in the Bronx borough of New York City grew up in Yonkers. At the age of 19, after a brief stint covering high school sports for a local newspaper, he took a job as an usher and ticket taker at a Manhattan movie theater, where he learned from a critic for "Variety" magazine that he could earn money writing jokes for comedians. In 1937, he moved to Hollywood and began working on scripts for Mervyn LeRoy, a prominent producer at MGM. He was an uncredited script doctor on "The Wizard of Oz," leading Groucho Marx to call him "The Wicked Wit of the West." He received sole screenplay credit for two Marx Brothers films, "At the Circus' (1939) and "Go West" (1940). He created, produced, and was the head writer of the long-running 1940s radio series "The Life of Riley." In 1949 he turned it into a feature film that starred William Bendix, and an NBC television series in the fall of the same year, considered by some as the first situation comedy on TV, and hired Jackie Gleason for the lead role of the blundering Chester A. Riley. The series lasted only until the following spring. However, in 1953 it was reprised, with Bendix back in the title role (frequently uttering his signature line, "What a revoltin' development this is!"), remaining on the air until 1958. He also created and co-produced the television sitcom "The People's Choice," which aired on NBC from 1955 until 1958. He wrote the screenplay for and directed the comedy film "Sail a Crooked Ship" (1961), based on the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Benchley. Some of his other comedy screenplay credits include "Best Foot Forward" (1943), "Shadow of the Thin Man" (1941), "DuBarry Was a Lady" (1942), and "Yolanda and the Thief" (1945), and "Somebody Loves Me" (1952). He died from a heart ailment at the age of 94. His memoirs, "The Wicked Wit of the West," was published posthumously in January 2009.
 (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Family links: 
  Norma Snyder Brecher (1926 - 2012)*
*Calculated relationship
Hillside Memorial Park
Culver City
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Plot: Courts of the Book, Second Floor, Kings, Wall TT, Crypt 308
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Abby Kay
Record added: Nov 18, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31529918
Irving Sidney Brecher
Added by: Melissa
Irving Sidney Brecher
Added by: Red Dog
Irving Sidney Brecher
Added by: Red Dog
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Cindy
 Added: Jan. 17, 2016
On your 102nd birthday
- Nancy Forrest
 Added: Jan. 16, 2016

- Beth J. M.
 Added: Nov. 17, 2015
There are 21 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
Do you have a photo to add? Click here
How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.1 after 15 votes)

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service UPDATED