Joshua Logan (October 5, 1908- July 12, 1988) was a stage and film director and writer best known for Broadway and Hollywood shows such as Mister Roberts, Picnic, and South Pacific.
Joshua Lockwood Logan III was born in Texarkana, Texas and attended Culver Military Academy in Indiana before enrolling at Princeton. As a student, Logan helped form the University Players with Henry Fonda and James Stewart. Before graduating in 1931, he went to Moscow on a scholarship to study "method acting" with Konstantin Stanislavsky at the Moscow Art Theatre.
In 1932, Logan began his Broadway career as an actor in 1932. He went to Hollywood in 1936 to work with producer David O. Selznick. When he returned to Broadway, he directed two popular shows On Borrowed Time and I Married an Angel. His career was interrupted by military service in England with the United States Army Air Corps Combat Intelligence division during World War II. He married actress Nedda Harrigan in 1945.
After the war, Logan directed Broadway shows Annie Get Your Gun, John Loves Mary, Mister Roberts, South Pacific and Fanny. He shared the 1950 Pulitzer Prize for Drama with Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II for co-writing South Pacific. The show also earned him a Tony Award for Best Director.
When director John Ford became sick, Logan reluctantly returned to Hollywood to complete the filming of Mister Roberts (1955). Logan's other hit films included Picnic (1955), Bus Stop (1956), Sayonara (1957), and South Pacific (1958). He was nominated for an Academy Award for Directing for Picnic and Sayonara. His later musicals Camelot (1967) and Paint Your Wagon (1969) were less acclaimed. Logan's 1976 autobiography Josh: My Up-and-Down, In-and-Out Life talks frankly about his bipolar disorder. He appeared with his wife in the 1977 nightclub revue Musical Moments, featuring Logan's most popular Broadway numbers. He published Movie Stars, Real People, and Me in 1978. From 1983-1986, he taught theater at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.
Ed Sullivan considered his May 17, 1953 salute to the Joshua Logan as pivotal in several advances the treatment of the mentally ill. Before the show, the two men were watching in the wings and Sullivan asked Logan how he thought the show was doing. According to Sullivan, Logan told him that the show was dreadfully becoming "another one of those and-then-I-wrote shows". Sullivan asked him what he should do about it, and Logan volunteered to talk about his experiences in a mental institution. Sullivan took him up on the offer, and in retrospect believed that several advances in the treatment of mental illness could be attributed to the resulting publicity, including the repeal of a Pennsylvania law about the treatment of the mentally ill and the granting of funds for the construction of new psychiatric hospitals.
He died in 1988 in New York of supranuclear palsy.