Robert Anderson (playwright)

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Robert Anderson
Born Robert Woodruff Anderson
(1917-04-28)April 28, 1917
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Died February 9, 2009(2009-02-09) (aged 91)
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
Resting place Roxbury Center Cemetery, Roxbury, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation Playwright
Screenwriter
Theatrical producer
Education Harvard University
Years active 1948–1992
Spouse
Phyllis Stohl
(m. 1940; her death 1956)

Teresa Wright
(m. 1959; div. 1978)

Robert Woodruff Anderson (April 28, 1917 – February 9, 2009)[1] was an American playwright, screenwriter, and theatrical producer. He received two Academy Award nominations for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium for the drama films The Nun's Story (1959) and I Never Sang for My Father (1970).[2]

Biography[edit]

He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, which he later said he found a lonely experience. While there he fell in love with an older woman, an event which later became the basis of the plot of Tea and Sympathy. Anderson also attended Harvard University, where he took an undergraduate as well as a master's degree.[3]

He may be best-remembered as the author of Tea and Sympathy. The play made its Broadway debut in 1953 and was made into an Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film in 1956; both starred Deborah Kerr and John Kerr.

You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running, a collection of four one-act comedies, opened in New York in 1967 and ran for more than 700 performances. His other successful Broadway plays were Silent Night, Lonely Night (1959) and I Never Sang for My Father (1968).[4]

He wrote the screenplays for Until They Sail (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), and The Sand Pebbles (1966). He also authored many television scripts, including the TV play The Last Act Is a Solo (1991), and the novels After (1973) and Getting Up and Going Home (1978).

He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1981.[5]

Anderson was married to Phyllis Stohl from 1940 until her death in 1956 and to actress Teresa Wright from 1959 until their divorce in 1978. Anderson died of pneumonia on February 9, 2009 at his home in Manhattan, aged 91. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for seven years prior to his death.[6]

Advocacy[edit]

As a supporter for writers' rights in theatre, Anderson was a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and was elected president in 1971. He continued to serve the non-profit organization until 1973.

Selected Credits[edit]

Plays[edit]

Television[edit]

Screenplays[edit]

Novels[edit]

  • After (1973)
  • Getting Up and Going Home (1978)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
1960
12th Writers Guild of America Awards Best Written American Drama
The Nun's Story
Nominated
32nd Academy Awards Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Nominated
1967
24th Golden Globe Awards Best Screenplay
The Sand Pebbles
Nominated
19th Writers Guild of America Awards Best Written American Drama Nominated
1971
23rd Writers Guild of America Awards Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium
I Never Sang for My Father
Won
43rd Academy Awards Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium Nominated

References[edit]

External links[edit]