NEW YORK CITY: Pulitzer-winning US playwright Edward Albee, author of such masterpieces as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” died on Friday (Saturday in Manila) at age 88, his personal assistant said in a statement.
Albee died at his home in Montauk, New York after a short illness, according to his longtime personal assistant Jakob Holder.
Considered one of the most important American playwrights of his time, Albee wrote a variety of intense, controversial plays diving into anxieties, disillusionments and death.
He burst onto the theater scene with “The Zoo Story” (1958) at age 30. The two-character drama, portraying disaffection and class struggle, premiered in Berlin the following year and then moved to off-Broadway in 1960.
“Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” debuted two years later on Broadway. The shocking trash-talking, boozy depiction of a tortured academic couple, George and Martha, was eventually a hit.
It was later made into a 1966 black-comedy movie directed by Mike Nichols and starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, who won an Oscar as best actress.
Albee won a string of awards for “Virginia Woolf,” including a Tony for best play in 1963. The Pulitzer Prize committee recommended it for best play that year, but the Pulitzer board rejected the recommendation.
Throughout an up-and-down commercial career over several decades, Albee won three Pulitzer Prizes for best drama.