January 30, 2006

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein dies in NY at 55

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wendy Wasserstein, the Brooklyn-born
playwright whose award-winning works chronicled love,
motherhood, marriage and complex sibling relations against a
backdrop of feminism, has died. She was 55.

Wasserstein's play agent Phyllis Wender said she died on
Monday. She gave no further details except that a memorial
service would be held in March. It had been reported in recent
weeks that the author of "The Heidi Chronicles, which won the
Pulitzer Prize and a Tony award, had been battling cancer.

Sonny Mehta, chairman of the Knopf Publishing Group, and
Victoria Wilson, Wasserstein's long-time editor, said in a
joint statement: "She was as well a writer of enormous talent
and genuine spirit. Her works brought joy to many. Her admirers
were legion."

Wasserstein was born in the New York City borough of
Brooklyn and was a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
Generally considered to be the play that put her on the map,
"The Heidi Chronicles" also won the 1989 New York Drama Critics
Circle Award. It was also a commercial success and ran for more
than 600 performances.

On the heels of "Heidi" came "The Sisters Rosensweig" in
1993, which detailed the lives of three diverse siblings.

Wasserstein's latest work, "Third," premiered off Broadway
late last year.