Mr. Pimlott, who was not a smoker, was diagnosed in 2006. According to What's On Stage, he began rehearsals on the Tennessee Williams play, starring Zoe Wannamaker, in early February but was forced to withdraw when the cancer returned. Nicholas Hytner, the artistic director of the National and a longtime friend, will assume the direction of Rose Tattoo.
To American audiences, Mr. Pimlott was best known for his association with Andrew Lloyd Webber. He directed a West End revival of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which traveled to Broadway in 1993. He also directed the London and Broadway versions of the Lloyd Webber-backed Bollywood stage musical Bombay Dreams. But Mr. Pimlott's career was crowded with productions of all stripes staged at a wide variety of venues.
Mr. Pimlott attended Manchester Grammar School, where Hytner was a classmate. He attended university at Cambridge. He began his career as an actor and producer, but made his mark as a director of operas at Opera North, which he joined in 1978. He would continue to direct opera throughout his life. In 1990, he joined the RSC as an associate director and artistic director of The Other Place. His credits there included Julius Caesar, Richard III, Measure for Measure, Anthony and Cleopatra, Richard II and Hamlet (with Samuel West), as well as TS Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, Tennessee Williams' Camino Real, and Moliere's The Learned Ladies.
He left the RSC in 2002 and, one year later, became one of three artistic directors of Chichester Festival Theatre. There, he directed The Seagull, Nathan the Wise and King Lear. He resigned in 2005.
Other credits included the British premiere of Carmen Jones, Sunday in the Park With George (at the Royal National Theatre), the world premieres of three plays by Phyllis Nagy and new plays by Michael Hastings and Robert Holman. Mr. Pimlott received an OBE for his services to drama in January.