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For anyone under the age of 60, it may come as a mild shock that Sidney Sheldon had another magnificent career before he ever created TV shows ("I Dream of Jeannie," "Hart to Hart") or wrote bestsellers ("The Other Side of Midnight," "Windmills of the Gods").
Make that two magnificent careers.
Sometime before he sold more than 300 million copies of his 28 books or had the idea that Patty Duke should play herself times two, there was Sidney Sheldon the Broadway playwright, book writer and librettist.
It was during World War II, while Sheldon waited for active duty in the Air Corps, that the job of legit librettist came his way. Since it was only 1943, his name never graced the marquee at the Majestic Theater (now home to "The Phantom of the Opera") along with that of composer Franz Lehar: (If it were 2006, what producer could resist the box office pull of "Sidney Sheldon's Merry Widow"?)
Back then, Sheldon and his screenwriting partner Ben Roberts had …