Award-winning playwright Lanford Wilson dies



WASHINGTON- Playwright Lanford Wilson, whose "Talley's Folly" won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1980, died on Thursday, his close friend Marshall Mason told AFP.
Wilson, a founding member of the Circle Repertory Company in New York in the late 1960s, died of complications from pneumonia at the Kindred Hospital in Wayne, New Jersey. He was 73.



"He was frequently referred to as the American Chekhov," Mason said of comparisons to Russian writer and playwright Anton Chekhov.
"I think that was fitting. He wrote in a very complex and deep human way that made his characters unforgettable," Mason, who was Wilson's longtime collaborator, told AFP in a phone interview.
His other plays include "Fifth of July," "Hot L Baltimore," and "Burn This."
Wilson, who was openly gay, included themes of gay identity in his works, although "Talley's Folly" was a one-act play about a heterosexual couple.
Film and stage actor John Malkovich starred in the Circle Repertory Company's 1987 production of "Burn This," which has been revived by regional theaters across the United States.
The Steppenwolf Theatre Company's revival of "Hot L Baltimore" was schedule to open Thursday in Chicago.
Wilson was a longtime resident of Sag Harbor, New York. He did not have children, Mason said.
Mason posted a Facebook message about Wilson's death, saying it was "a peaceful, painless end... Words cannot express the loss we all will feel, but we must be grateful for the bountiful beauty he bestowed upon us."
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Saturday, March 26th 2011
AFP
           


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