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Robert Anderson (playwright)

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Robert Anderson (playwright)

Robert Woodruff Anderson
Born (1917-04-28)April 28, 1917
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died February 9, 2009(2009-02-09) (aged 91)
New York, New York, U.S.
Years active 1948-1992
Spouse Phyllis Stohl (1940-1956)
Teresa Wright (1959-1978)

Robert Woodruff Anderson (April 28, 1917 in New York City – February 9, 2009) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and theater producer.

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.[1]

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 MGM 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).[2]

He also wrote the screenplays for Until They Sail (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), and The Sand Pebbles (1966). He was Oscar-nominated for The Nun's Story as well as his 1970 screen adaptation of I Never Sang for My Father. 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 Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.[3]

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.[4]

Selected Plays


  1. ^ , February 10, 2009The New York Times"Robert Anderson, Playwright of Tea and Sympathy, Dies at 91,"
  2. ^ Michael Kuchwara, "Robert Anderson, 'Tea and Sympathy' author, dies," AP, February 9, 2009
  3. ^ 26 Elected to the Theater Hall of Fame, March 3, 1981 - The New York Times
  4. ^ magazinePlaybillBiodata in
  5. ^ I'm Herbert, Dramatists Play Service. Retrieved 2014-06-24.

External links

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