Robert L. Freedman won the 2014 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Book of a Musical for the Tony-winning Best Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. With collaborator Steven Lutvak, Robert was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Score, and won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lyrics. Robert is writing Book and Lyrics for the new musical, The Flamingo Kid, with Music by Scott Frankel, based on the Garry Marshall film, which had its pre-Broadway try-out in May, 2019 at Hartford Stage in Connecticut, directed by Darko Tresnjak (A Gentleman’s Guide, Anastasia) and choreographed by Denis Jones (Tootsie, Holiday Inn).
Robert was nominated for the Writers Guild Award and two Emmy Awards as the writer and a producer of ABC’s Life With Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows, the top-rated mini-series of the season and the winner of 5 Emmys, the Television Critics Association Award, the Broadcast Critics Association Award, a Producers Guild Award nominee, and a Golden Globe nominee for Best Television Movie or Miniseries. He was a finalist for the Humanitas Prize for his teleplay for Lifetime’s What Makes A Family, a 2-hour drama based on a true story, starring Brooke Shields, Cherry Jones and Whoopi Goldberg, which won a GLAAD Award as Best Television Film of 2001.
Robert was nominated for the Writers Guild Award for his teleplay for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Brandy, Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters, and Jason Alexander, which was seen by an estimated 60 million viewers on “The Wonderful World of Disney” on ABC-TV. A stage adaptation of his teleplay toured the country in a production starring Eartha Kitt. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella had its highly-acclaimed streaming premiere on Disney+ in February, 2021.
Robert L. Freedman’s writing career has been an eclectic one, ranging from drama to comedy to musicals. He won the Writers Guild Award for his HBO film A Deadly Secret, and his acclaimed CBS film What Love Sees won the Silver Plaque at the Chicago International Television Festival. Honor Thy Mother, also on CBS, won him a nomination for the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America. His recent television films include Lifetime’s The Pastor’s Wife and Murder In The Hamptons.
Born in Los Angeles, Robert is a graduate of the U.C.L.A. Theatre Arts program. He received Masters Degrees in Dramatic Writing and Musical Theatre from the Tisch School of the Arts at N.Y.U. Early in his career, Robert wrote the PBS Special Broadway Sings the Music of Jule Styne for “Great Performances”, which starred Carol Channing, Chita Rivera and many others.
Since he began writing and producing for television, Robert L. Freedman has worked with such stars as Jack Lemmon, Dolly Parton, Angela Lansbury, Judy Davis, Richard Thomas, Ellen Burstyn, Angela Bassett, Jean Smart, Drew Carey, Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, Sharon Gless, Peter Strauss and Patty Duke, among others, including Keith Carradine, Kelly McGillis and Harry Hamlin in the highly lauded CBS mini-series In the Best of Families (aka “Bitter Blood”).
For their work in the theatre, Robert and Steven Lutvak won the 2006 Fred Ebb Award for songwriting, the 2006 Kleban Award for lyric writing, and the 2006 California Musical Theatre Award, the latter for their musical Campaign of the Century.
Based on a book by Greg Mitchell, Campaign of the Century centers on the shenanigans surrounding Upton Sinclair’s race for Governor of California in 1934. Staged readings of the show have been held at the New York Theatre Festival, the Chicago Humanities Festival, and the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild, featuring John Rubinstein, Josh Radnor, and Michael Rupert, among others. Workshops of Robert’s musical Grand Duchy, with composer John Bayless, were held at Playwrights Horizons and the Papermill Playhouse.
Robert and Faye Greenberg have written a new one-man play, The Beast of Broadway: The Life and Times of David Merrick about the legendary producer. The play premiered in 2010, in a production starring David Garrison.
Robert has written his first book, Notes On The Writing Of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Applause Books), released May 15, 2021. Available on Amazon.
Robert resides in Los Angeles and New York. He is married to actress Jean Kauffman. Their son, Max Freedman, writes, produces, and co-hosts podcasts, including School Colors, Unsettled, and Making The Call.