Playwright Ronald Harwood, Author of The Dresser, Dies at 85 | Playbill

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Obituaries Playwright Ronald Harwood, Author of The Dresser, Dies at 85 The writer also won an Oscar for his The Pianist screenplay.

Tony-nominated playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood died September 8, 2020, at the age of 85. His death, of natural causes, was confirmed to the BBC by his agent, Judy Daish.

The writer’s best-known works include the Tony-nominated The Dresser, which debuted on Broadway in 1982. The play was then adapted into an Oscar-nominated film, with Mr. Harwood receiving a nod himself as screenwriter.

Mr. Harwood would go on to wn the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2003 with The Pianist. He was nominated a third time in 2008 for his work on The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

The writer worked steadily throughout his career, starting in the ‘60s up until the early 2010s. Many of his plays made it to the West End, including A Family, The Deliberate Death of a Polish Priest, Quartet, and Taking Sides, the latter of which also played on Broadway in 1996.

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, on November 9, 1934, Mr. Harwood attended secondary school in his hometown before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Prior to his career as a writer, Mr. Harwood worked as a performer and a dresser for several productions in the ‘50s.

The playwright is survived by his son Antony, daughters Deborah and Alexandra, and cousin Antony Sher. Mr. Harwood’s wife, Natasha, died in 2013.


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