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William Inge
(May 3, 1913 - June 10, 1973) U.S.A.

William Inge

Dramatist

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Born and educated in Independence, Kansas, Inge spent the first few years of his adult life as a small-town teacher in Kansas and Missouri. His homosexuality remained closeted throughout his life, possibly because of fear of reprisal in an era in which homosexuality was considered suspect.

William IngeEncouraged and inspired by Tennessee Williams, Inge finished his first play Farther Off from Heaven in 1947. His plays are about seemingly ordinary Midwestern people. While teaching at Washington University from 1946-1949, he wrote the award winning Come Back, Little Sheba. His other plays include Picnic (1953, Pulitzer Prize), Bus Stop (1955), The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (1957), A Loss of Roses (1959), Splendor in the Grass (his screenplay adaptation won an Academy Award in 1962), Natural Affection (1963), and Where's Daddy (1966).

The dominant playwright of the 1950s, William Inge captured the essence of Midwestern life. He also wrote novels, including Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff (1970), and My Son Is a Splendid Driver (1971). He commited suicide at his home in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California, following increasing problems with alcohol, his repressed sexuality, and extensive psychoanalitical therapy. Inge was a distant relative of John Wilkes Booth.

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