On March 7, 2016 author and researcher William V. Madison, presented a talk about the life of Madeline Kahn, and the 7 years of research involved in compiling his biographic work, Madeline Kahn: Being the Music, A Life. The evening was co-hosted by Harvardwood.
Madeline Kahn was one of America’s greatest comic actresses. Yet she was painfully insecure, afraid that her looks, her voice, her talent were all illusions. Her starring Broadway performance in On the Twentieth Century began as a triumph and turned into a disaster. She never again appeared in a musical on Broadway, but 14 years later, her triumph in The Sisters Rosensweig represented one of the great performances of her career, winning her a Tony as Best Actress. In film, Kahn is remembered for her brilliant work in, among others, Paper Moon, What’s Up Doc, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, History of the World Part I, Clue and Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, all after her 1968 screen debut it the short satire De Duva.
Mr. Madison is a native Texan, educated in the Northeast, back in New York City after 7 years in France. …a producer on radio, a writer on television, a gopher on Broadway, a stage manager and costume designer off-off-Broadway, an opera critic, a secretary, a reporter, an editor, an actor, a teacher, and a go-go boy. … and his ‘bosses’ included soprano Teresa Stratas, actress Madeline Lee Gilford, producers Robert V. Straus and Lee Guber, and broadcast journalists Dan Rather and Connie Chung.