Arthur and Barbara Gelb, the authors of the famous O'Neill biography "Life With Monte Cristo," co-wrote the script with filmmaker Ric Burns, who directs. The two-hour program takes in O'Neill's entire life, with a special focus on his childhood and his two great works Long Day's Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh.
Commentators include John Guare, Tony Kusner, Lloyd Richards, Arthur Gelb and the late Jason Robards and Robert Whitehead.
O'Neill is often credited with bringing a distinct native realism to American drama and bringing the country's stage art into the modern era. His many landmark plays include The Hairy Ape, The Emperor Jones, Anna Christie, Hughie, Desire Under the Elms, A Moon for the Misbegotten and Ah, Wilderness!. He died in 1953.