not born yesterday

Born Yesterday


Born Yesterday is a play written and first directed by Garson Kanin and adapted into a successful 1950 film. It was remade in 1993 with the same name. Actress and comedian Judy Holliday originated the role of Billie Dawn on Broadway, as well as the George Cukor adaptation made by Columbia Pictures. The remake, directed by Luis Mandoki and released through Buena Vista Pictures, starred Melanie Griffith as the central character and updated the plot. A 1989 revival of the play starred Madeline Kahn.


An uncouth, corrupt tycoon, Harry Brock, brings his showgirl mistress Billie Dawn with him to Washington, D.C. When Billie's ignorance becomes a liability to Brock's business dealings, he hires a journalist, Paul Verrall, to educate his girlfriend. In the process of learning, Billie Dawn realizes how corrupt her boyfriend is and begins interfering with his plans to "buy" a few Congressmen.

1946 stage production

The stage production of the play opened on February 4, 1946 at the Lyceum Theater, where it began the first of 1,642 performances. Directed by its writer, Garson Kanin, and starring Judy Holliday (Dawn), Paul Douglas (Brock), and Gary Merrill (Verrall), the play opened to rave reviews. After over two years at the Lyceum, the play moved to the larger Henry Miller Theater with the same cast, where it finished its run on Christmas Eve of 1950.

For his performance as Harry Brock, Paul Douglas was awarded the 1946 Clarence Derwent Award for the most promising male.


Paul Douglas as Harry Brock
Judy Holliday as Billie Dawn
Gary Merrill as Paul Verrall
Carroll Ashburn as The Assistant Manager
Frank Otto as Eddie Brock
Larry Oliver as Senator Norval Hedges
Mona Bruns as Mrs. Hedges
C.L. Burke as A Waiter
Ellen Hall as Helen


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