Playwright Harold Pinter dead at 78


©2008 Dave M. Benett/Broadway.comNobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter died of cancer on December 24, according to the Associated Press. He was 78.

The highly influential and political scribe was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born on October 10, 1930 in the London borough of Hackney. In 1948 he was accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He published his first poems in 1950 and by 1951 he was accepted at the Central School of Speech and Drama. That same year, he won a place in Anew McMaster’s Irish repertory company, renowned for its performances of Shakespeare. Pinter toured again between 1954 and 1957, using the stage name of David Baron.

He wrote over 30 plays, making his playwriting debut in 1957 with The Room, presented in Bristol. Other early plays were The Birthday Party (1957), The Dumb Waiter (1957) and The Hothouse (1958). His first big breakthrough came in 1959 with The Caretaker. His subsequent plays include The Homecoming, Night School, The Collection, The Lover, The Homecoming, Landscape, Silence, Old Times, No Man’s Land, Betrayal, Family Voices, A Kind of Alaska, One for the Road, Mountain Language, The New World Order, Party Time, Moonlight, Ashes to Ashes, Celebration and Remembrance of Things Past. He also wrote over 20 screenplays, including The Servant, The Go-Between and The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Pinter was also a director, poet and essayist.


Looking at Pinter’s political views, this via the DailyKos:

The provocative Nobel laureate Harold Pinter died December 24. Although his work in the theater over the course of 32 plays was broadly praised, his political views drew savage attacks, including one from fellow Brit and neo-conservative Christopher Hitchens, who wrote in 2005 that giving the Swedish award “to someone who gave up literature for politics decades ago, and whose politics are primitive and hysterically anti-American and pro-dictatorial, is part of the almost complete degradation of the Nobel racket.”