Former president William Wolf died from complications related to COVID-19 on Saturday, March 28.
Wolf was an author, critic, educator and the 22nd president of the Drama Desk. Wolf wrote extensively on film and theater. He served two years as Chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle and was currently a member of the National Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Online, the Online Film Critics Society, P. E. N., the American Theatre Critics Association, the International Association of Theatre Critics, and the American Association of University Professors. He was the former President of the Drama Desk and previously served for two years on its nominating committee for the Drama Desk Awards and was on the Drama Desk Executive Board.
In 1998 he founded and began publishing the Wolf Entertainment Guide on the Internet (www.wolfentertainmentguide.com ) containing his reviews of theater, film and other cultural events.
At New York University, he was a Visiting Scholar and an Adjunct Professor who taught Film as Literature in the English Department and Cinema and Literature in the French Department. Professor Wolf is particularly known for his Movie Preview course, now presented independently at Lincoln Center in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Center.
Mr. Wolf was for many years film critic and film editor for Cue Magazine (1964-1980), and when Cue was merged into New York Magazine, he became a critic and contributing editor, writing the magazine’s On Film column (1980-1983). He subsequently became the syndicated film critic and columnist for the Gannett newspaper chain (1984-1988). Mr. Wolf’s articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the United States, publications abroad, and various national and international magazines and prestigious annuals.
During the course of his career, Mr. Wolf has interviewed hundreds of film and theater notables and has covered the world’s major film festivals. Among he many he has interviewed are Ingmar Bergman and Charlie Chaplin. Audio tapes of his interviews with directors, actors, producers, and others in the world of cinema and the stage constitute the William Wolf Film and Theater Interview Collection (1972-1998), part of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound, that he has donated to the New York Library of the Performing Arts.
Mr. Wolf is the author of Landmark Films: The Cinema and Our Century , which he wrote in collaboration with his wife, Lillian Kramer Wolf, and of The Marx Brothers. He has contributed chapters on “Easy Rider” and “Duck Soup” to “The A List: 100 Essential Films” a collection of reviews by members of the National Society of Film Critics, and “The Eroticism of Words” and “Kinsey” chapters in the National Society’s sequel, “The X List.”
Throughout his career, William was a prolific interviewer. His taped conversations with actors, directors, and other film and theater artists are included in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at the New York Library of the Performing Arts.
As of yet, no funeral or memorial plans are being announced, and Bill’s family hasn’t designated a preferred recipient or recipients of memorial gifts.
The Drama Desk will plan an appropriate celebration of William’s life, and of all he has meant to our organization and members, when the coronavirus crisis has abated states Charles Wright President of the Drama Desk