Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson, known for the plays Talley's Folly, Balm in Gilead, Fifth of July, and Burn This, among others, died of complications of pneumonia in Wayne, NJ on Thursday.
His characters, drawn true to life if sometimes larger, tended toward the socially marginalized, perhaps no surprise for a man whose identity — Ozark, somewhat rootless, a child of a broken home, gay at a time when it was taboo to be gay — no doubt made him feel pushed to the margins of mainstream culture himself. (Mr. Wilson was noted for being one of the first mainstream playwrights to create central, meaningful gay and lesbian characters.)
Wilson was single at the time of his death. He was 73.