Lewis Allen, Producer of Broadway's Rappaport, Annie and More, Dead at 81

Obituaries   Lewis Allen, Producer of Broadway's Rappaport, Annie and More, Dead at 81 Lewis Allen, the Tony Award-winning Broadway producer who brought I'm Not Rappaport, Master Class, Tru, A Few Good Men and Annie to commercial life, died Dec. 8 of pancreatic cancer, according to the New York Times.

Mr. Allen, born Lewis Maitland Allen in Berryville, VA, was 81 and is survived by his wife, the writer Jay Presson Allen.

Among Broadway projects he was attached to over the years were Best Play or Musical Tony Award winners Rappaport (in 1985 and revived in 2002), Annie, Master Class and a revival of The Iceman Cometh in 1985, with Jason Robards; plus The Big Love (1991); Tru, his playwright wife's acclaimed solo play about Truman Capote (1989); the Tommy Tune musical, My One and Only (1983); Billy Bishop Goes to War (1980); Half a Sixpence (1965); Slow Dance on the Killing Ground (1964); The Physicists (1964); The Ballad of the Sad Cafe (1963); Big Fish, Little Fish (1961); The Man in the Dog Suit (1958). He was assistant managing director for Sunday Breakfast (1952), Mrs. McThing (ANTA Playhouse, 1952) and Desire Under the Elms (1952).

In London, he produced the Tyrone Guthrie-directed Time to Laugh, starring Ruth Gordon and Robert Morely. Off-Broadway, he produced Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind and Vita and Virginia starring Eileen Atkins and Vanessa Redgrave.

His motion picture producing credits include Peter Brook's "Lord of the Flies," Truffaut's "Fahrenheit 451," Disney's "Never Cry Wolf," "The Connection," "Miss Firecracker," Spalding Gray's "Swimming to Cambodia." For TV, he produced the Horton Foote miniseries, "Portrait of a Marriage."

Roy Miller, a younger-generation producer who partnered with Mr. Allen and Elliott Martin in 2002's Rappaport, told Playbill On-Line: "Lewis was an incredibly kind and giving person. His passion for the theatre drove him forward on every project he was involved with and I am proud to have known him and learned from him. It was a privilege to have produced I'm Not Rappaport with him. I will miss him greatly as will everyone who had the good fortune of knowing him." Mr. Allen, whose father was a physician, graduated from the University of Virginia. He met the producer Robert Whitehead during World War II (they served in the same unit) and Mr. Allen found work in Whitehead's office after the war, in 1950. He graduated from Whitehead's assistant to assistant managing director of Whitehead's ANTA Play Series. The elder producer introduced Mr. Allen to his future wife, according to the Times.

By 1960, Mr. Allen formed a production office of his own, with Dana Hodgdon (Allen-Hodgdon, Inc., for which Mr. Allen served as president).

Before his theatrical life, he co-founded Thaibock Fabrics in 1949 and subsequently served as a board member.

He is survived by his wife, daughter Brooke, two brothers and two grandchildren.

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