When there were all those stories two years ago about Michael Brown, the then-current head of FEMA, for a moment I was confusing him with the Michael Brown who wrote "Lizzie Borden" in New Faces of 1952. As performed by -- at least I think it's him -- Ronny Graham, it was one of the big hits of the show and the 1954 film version.
Graham, who died in 1999, was one of those guys who was really talented at everything and never quite a huge success at anything. As a songwriter, he wrote the lyrics for the Broadway musical Bravo Giovanni (with Cesare Siepi and the young Michele Lee), but the show didn't last long and Graham's contribution was very uneven. As a performer, he was never a huge headliner, and he did guest-starring work on television but didn't have a regular role on a series. And as a writer, he co-wrote some of his friend Mel Brooks's movies (but not his best ones) and spent some time as a staff writer on M*A*S*H (after the show was already a little past its prime). He was an interesting and brilliant guy, always this close to being famous and never quite there.