Arthur Hopkins

For the Alabama Supreme Court Justice, see Arthur F. Hopkins.

Arthur Hopkins (October 4, 1878 – March 22, 1950) was a Broadway theater director and producer in the early twentieth century.


Hopkins was born on October 4, 1878 in Cleveland. He was the youngest of ten children born to a Welsh couple, David and Mary Jane Hopkins. His autobiography is titled "To a Lonely Boy."[1]

After leaving high school, he began life as a reporter and then worked for a while as a theater press agent. This led to his writing a play, The Fatted Calf (1912) and to producing a show, Poor Little Rich Girl, in 1913; it was a hit and launched his Broadway career. During the following 34 years he produced or directed 80 plays. He was one of Broadway's most admired producers with credits for "What Price Glory", "Anna Christie," and others. He directed plays by playwrights in American Expressionist theater, including Elmer Rice, Sophie Treadwell, and Eugene O'Neill.[2] He also co-wrote Burlesque (1927), which he staged again twenty years later, and it ran from Christmas 1946 to January 1948. He directed Philip Barry's 1928 play Holiday at the Plymouth Theatre, where it ran for 229 performances. His last production – The Magnificent Yankee, based on the life of the Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, in 1946 – was another hit. He discovered actor Humphrey Bogart for his first major starring role in the stage version of The Petrified Forest, which also was made into a movie starring Bogart.

He married the Australian actress Eva MacDonald in August 1915. At the time she declared that she had retired from the stage, but in 1919 she appeared as Natasha in Night Lodging, produced by Hopkins. She died in 1938.[3]

From April 19, 1944, to January 3, 1945, Hopkins produced Arthur Hopkins Presents, a one-hour dramatic anthology program on NBC radio.[4]

Further reading

Anon. (21 March 1925). "Profiles: A Timid Little Man". The New Yorker. 1 (5): 9–10. 


  1. "Your Ancestors" by Philip McCord Morse, 1967, Privately Published
  3. New York Times (December 2, 1915)
  4. Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. P. 47.

External links

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