Cy Feuer, Producer of Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed, Dead at 95

Obituaries   Cy Feuer, Producer of Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed, Dead at 95
Cy Feuer, a legendary Broadway producer and director, and immediate past chairman and longtime president of The League of American Theatres and Producers, died the morning of May 17 at age 95, at home in Manhattan.
Cy Feuer
Cy Feuer Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The League announced Mr. Feuer's death. During his 50-plus year career on Broadway, he brought to life many of America's most popular and respected musicals, including Guys and Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

In his honor, the marquee lights on Broadway, and at many theatres throughout the country, will be dimmed May 18 at 8 PM for one minute.

With his partner, the late Ernest H. Martin, he produced such musicals as Where's Charley, Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, The Boy Friend, Silk Stockings, Whoop-Up, the Tony Award and the Pulitzer-Prize winning How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, as well as Little Me, The Goodbye People and The Act.

Guys and Dolls (1950), with a score by Frank Loesser and book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling, drawn from stories by Damon Runyon, is still considered one of the most crafty, tight and tuneful pieces of musical theatre writing to emerge on Broadway. It has been revived on Broadway three times (including a City Center production), and a new 2005 London production received raves and awards — and is said to be Broadway-bound.

He directed as well as produced Skyscraper, Whoop-Up, Little Me and Walking Happy, and he directed the play I Remember Mama. Mr. Feuer was nominated for nine Tony Awards, winning three; one for Guys and Dolls and two for How To Succeed. Mr. Feuer received a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre in 2003. His feature film credits include the eight-time Academy Award-winning "Cabaret" and "A Chorus Line."

From 1989-2003, he was President and later Chairman of The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc., the national trade association for Broadway producers, presenters and theatre owner/operators.

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Cy Feuer, one of the truly great men of the American theatre," commented Gerald Schoenfeld, Chairman, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. "For more than 50 years, since Cy produced Can-Can in 1953, I have had the joy of knowing and working with him. He will be truly missed by all of us who have been touched by his life and work."

"The members, board, and staff of The League of American Theatres and Producers mourn our friend Cy Feuer, a remarkable leader and a man of the theatre who, with Ernie Martin, produced an unprecedented series of hit shows including Guys and Dolls and Little Me," commented Jed Bernstein, President, The League of American Theatres and Producers, Inc. "A director and a musician as well as a producer, Cy was a showman of impeccable taste, and a true legend in his field. An inspiring leader and vociferous advocate for Broadway, he taught us by example how to succeed in the theatre."

In 2003, Mr. Feuer published his memoir, "I Got the Show Right Here: The Amazing True Story of How an Obscure Brooklyn Horn Player Became the Last Great Broadway Showman," written with Ken Gross, in which he looked back on his remarkable career on Broadway and in Hollywood, working with such legendary talent as Bob Fosse, Frank Loesser, George S. Kaufman, Cole Porter, Julie Andrews, Abe Burrows, Gwen Verdon, John Steinbeck, Martin Scorsese, and George Balanchine.

Born in Brooklyn, New York on Jan. 15, 1911, Mr. Feuer later attended New Utrecht High School, then Juilliard, where he studied music. He pursued a music career, playing the trumpet at Radio City and other theatres, then becoming composer and head of the Music Department of Republic Pictures during the 1930s and '40s. Mr. Feuer was a captain in the Army Air Force during World War II. In 1947, he returned to New York, where he became a producer for the Broadway stage, a career that lasted more than 50 years.

He is survived by two sons, Jed and Bob, and their families. A celebration of his life will be announced at a future time.

Gerald Schoenfeld with Cy Feuer.
Gerald Schoenfeld with Cy Feuer. Photo by Aubrey Reuben
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