Howard Ashman Biography (1950-1991)

Full name Howard Elliot Ashman; born May 17, 1950, in Baltimore, MD; died ofcomplications from acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), March 14, 1991,in New York, NY; son of Raymond Albert (an ice cream cone manufacturer) andShirley Thelma (Glass) Ashman.

Birth Details
May 17, 1950
Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Death Details
March 14, 1991
New York, New York, United States

Famous Works

  • God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (also see below), Entermedia, NY, 1979.
  • Little Shop of Horrors (also see below), Orpheum Theatre, New York City,1982, then Comedy Theatre, London, 1983.
  • Smile (also see below), Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York City, 1986.
  • Credits; FILM WORK
  • Producer with John Musker, The Little Mermaid (animated; also see below),Buena Vista, 1989.
  • Executive producer, Beauty and the Beast (animated; also see below), Buena Vista, 1991.
  • Credits; ALBUMS
  • Many of Ashman's works are available as cast show albums and motion picture soundtracks.
  • Writings;PLAYS
  • 'Cause Maggie's Afraid of the Dark, produced at WPA Theatre, New York City, 1976.
  • Dreamstuff, produced at WPA Theatre, 1976.
  • The Confirmation, produced at McCarter Theatre Company, Princeton, NY, 1978.
  • (And lyricist with Dennis Green) God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut), composed by Menken, produced in Entermedia, NY, 1979, published by Samuel French, 1980.
  • (Adaptor) Real Life Funnies, produced at Manhattan Theatre Club/Upstage,New York City, 1981.
  • (And lyricist) Little Shop of Horrors (based on the film by Roger Corman), composed by Menken, produced at Orpheum Theatre, New York City, 1982, thenComedy Theatre, London, 1983, published by Doubleday, 1983.
  • (And lyricist with Marvin Hamlisch) Smile, composed by Hamlisch, producedat Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York City, 1986, published by Samuel French, 1988.
  • Also contributor of lyrics to Songs You Might Have Missed, produced Off-Broadway, 1991; and lyricist with Tim Rice for Disney's Beauty and the Beast,music composed by Alan Menken.
  • Writings;FILM LYRICS
  • (With others) Oliver and Company (animated), Buena Vista, 1988.
  • (And contributor of additional dialogue) The Little Mermaid, composed byAlan Menken, Buena Vista, 1989.
  • Beauty and the Beast, composed by Menken, Buena Vista, 1991.
  • (With Tim Rice) Aladdin (animated), composed by Menken, Buena Vista, 1992.
  • (Contributor) The 60th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1988.
  • (Contributor) The Making of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Disney Channel/Buena Vista Television, 1991.
  • (And composer) Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue (also known as Don't Get Started on Drugs), syndicated, 1993.
  • Writings;SCREENPLAYS
  • (And lyricist) Little Shop of Horrors, Warner Bros., 1987.

Further Reference


  • Contemporary Authors, Volume 131, Gale, 1991.
  • Advocate, April 7, 1992, p. 77.
  • Los Angeles Times, March 15, 1991.
  • Newsweek, March 25, 1991; November 18, 1991, p. 74.
  • New York Times, March 15, 1991.
  • People, December 16, 1991, p. 73.

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