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Murray Burnett was born in New York City in 1911. He was a high school teacher before becoming a playwright. His second wife was actress Adrienne Bayan. They met when she had a role in Hickory Street. Burnett was the uncle of documentary director Barbara Kopple. Burnett died on September 23, 1997 in New York City.
Burnett also wrote the play Hickory Street, based on his experiences as a teacher, which opened on Broadway in 1944. He wrote, produced, and directed many radio plays, including the 1952 ABC series Café Istanbul with Marlene Dietrich as Mlle. Madou. This show was transformed into Time for Love which ran for 38 episodes on CBS Radio in 1953.
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