Roger Edens

Roger Edens

He and Kay Thompson shared the same birthday (November 9th). From 1942 thru 1957) they gave joint birthday parties during which each presented a surprise production number using special material which featured their friends (Judy Garland, Ann Sothern, Chuck Walters, Ralph Blanel) each never told the other while rehearsing what the other was planning to present.

It was Edens who tested Shirley Temple's singing ability to see if she would really be the right choice to play Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz". When he decided that her singing was not good enough, Judy Garland became the preferred choice for Dorothy.

It was Edens, along with producer Arthur Freed, who was the real guiding force behind M-G-M's 1951 screen version of "Show Boat". Edens was the one who carried out the search for the right singer-actor to play Joe and sing "Ol' Man River", and it was Edens who discovered William Warfield after reading a rave review of a New York song recital that Warfield had given. Edens was also the one who supervised the cuts to the film after it was felt by the producer and the director that the original cut was too slow.

Was portrayed by John Benjamin Hickey in _Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows (2001) (TV)_.

When "The Sound of Music" was first announced by 20th Century-Fox to be directed by William Wyler, Edens was to be Associate Producer. It was Edens who thought up the opening shot of the camera coming over the alps to reveal Julie Andrews coming up over the hill singing "The Hills are alive with The Sound of Music." Although Wyler chose not to direct, Edens' brilliant opening concept was kept in by Robert Wise.