Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, A Delicate Balance, Seascape, Three Tall Women. Edward Albee created masterpieces of 20th-century American theater. This prolific playwright died September 16 at his home in Montauk, Long Island at 88.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was denied the Pulitzer Prize in 1963, when the 14-member advisory board split over the play (some were shocked by the frank, abusive language). No award was given, and the two jurors — respected drama critics and theater historians — resigned in protest. The play was locked in censorship battles from Boston to London. The 1966 film version, directed by Nichols and starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, was initially denied an official seal of approval by movie censors. The film, for which Taylor won an Academy Award, was later credited with helping usher in the new G-to-X rating system.
In 1967, Mr. Albee finally won the Pulitzer for A Delicate Balance. Three Tall Women also won the Pulitzer.
Albee was born March 12, 1928, in Washington, to a single woman named Louise Harvey. He was placed in an adoption nursery in New York, where he soon was adopted by a childless couple, Reed Albee and the former Frances Loring Cotter. He was named Edward Franklin Albee III. Though he was well to do his home life was cruel and it showed in his plays.
In 1958, his first play was The Zoo Story, which he wrote in just over three weeks as a 30th birthday present to himself.
In 1961 Mr. The Death of Bessie Smith and The American Dream, followed. Then the life changing Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, (63) and Tiny Alice” (1964), A Delicate Balance, The twin bill Box and Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (1968) with the prolific Seascape (1975) which won another Pulitzer with Frank Langella as a Tony Award winning sea lizards. I was lucky enough to see this production when it cam to LA.
The Man Who Had Three Arms (1983), ran on Broadway for 16 performances
Mr. Albee, and Terrence McNally were lovers in the 1950s.
Three Tall Women, ran on off-Broadway for 582 performances and in 2002, The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?,”was Albee first play on Broadway in nearly two decades, winning a well deserved Tony. Albee was later awarded a special Tony for lifetime achievement. (He received a Kennedy Center Honor in 1996.)