Lazarus, 43, came to Hollywood in 1927 as a scenarist for the Warners' silent Patent Leather Kid after enjoying a successful career on Broadway as the author of such plays as Gabette, Come Along Mandy, and Dixie to Broadway. On December 2, 1933, the screenwriter and his wife, Maud, decided to end their years of ill health by dying together in a well-planned and touching suicide pact executed in their Beverly Hills home at 522 Palm Drive. The couple wrote and posted a letter to the manager of a Beverly Hills bank asking that he direct the police to come to their garage. Later that afternoon they dropped off their dog at a friend's on the pretext that they were going away to a mountain resort for the weekend. Two days passed before the bank manager received the letter and notified police. Inside the garage, authorities found the car running and a rubber hose leading from the exhaust pipe up through the floorboard into the closed compartment. In the back seat, the asphyxiated couple sat side by side -- he with his arm draped tenderly around his wife while her head nestled on his shoulder.