List of Famous Dramatists People

List of Famous Dramatists

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List of famous dramatists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top dramatists in the world? This includes the most prominent dramatists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable dramatists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic dramatists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned dramatists.

This is a list that includes people like Ethan Coen and Langston Hughes.

From reputable, prominent, and well known dramatists to the lesser known dramatists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the dramatist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous dramatists ever?" and "What are the names of famous dramatists?" then you're in the right place. (98 items)

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  1. 1
    William Shakespeare
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 ...more

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    • Age: Died at 52 (1564-1616)
    • Birthplace: Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Poet, Lyricist, Author, Playwright
    • Credits: West Side Story, 10 Things I Hate About You, Romeo + Juliet, Henry V, Romeo and Juliet, + more
  2. 2
    Langston Hughes
    Photo: Freebase

    James Mercer Langston Hughes was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry. Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. He famously wrote about the period that "the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 65 (1902-1967)
    • Birthplace: USA, Joplin, Missouri
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Lyricist, Author, Essayist, + more
  3. 3
    Arthur Miller
    Photo: Freebase

    Arthur Asher Miller was a prolific American playwright, essayist, and prominent figure in twentieth-century American theatre. Among his most popular plays are All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and A View from the Bridge. He also wrote the several screenplays and was most noted for his work ...more

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    • Age: Died at 90 (1915-2005)
    • Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Essayist, Actor, Voice acting, Playwright
    • Credits: The Crucible, The Misfits, All My Sons, The Civil War, Death of a Salesman, + more
  4. 4

    David Alan Mamet is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter, and film director. As a playwright, Mamet has won a Pulitzer Prize and received Tony nominations for Glengarry Glen Ross and Speed-the-Plow. As a screenwriter, he has received Oscar nominations for The Verdict and Wag the Dog. Mamet's ...more

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    • Age: age 68
    • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Film Producer, Screenwriter, Author, + more
    • Credits: The Untouchables, Glengarry Glen Ross, Hannibal, The Shield, Wag the Dog, + more
  5. 5
    Sam Shepard
    Photo: Freebase

    Sam Shepard is an American playwright, actor, and television and film director. He is the author of several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs, and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child. Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for ...more

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    • Age: age 72
    • Birthplace: USA, Fort Sheridan, Illinois
    • Profession: Television director, Musician, Screenwriter, Author, Essayist, + more
    • Credits: The Notebook, Black Hawk Down, Steel Magnolias, The Right Stuff, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, + more
  6. 6

    Sir Tom Stoppard OM CBE FRSL is a Czech-born British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and ...more

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    • Age: age 78
    • Birthplace: Zlín, Czech Republic
    • Profession: Journalist, Television producer, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: Brazil, Shakespeare in Love, Empire of the Sun, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Vatel, + more
  7. 7
    Tennessee Williams
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American playwright and author of many stage classics. Along with Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller he is considered among the three foremost playwrights in 20th century American drama. After years of obscurity, he became suddenly famous with The Glass ...more

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    • Age: Died at 72 (1911-1983)
    • Birthplace: Columbus, Mississippi, United States of America
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Night of the Iguana, A Streetcar Named Desire, Suddenly, + more
  8. 8
    Eugene O'Neill
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish ...more

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    • Age: Died at 65 (1888-1953)
    • Birthplace: Times Square, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Emperor Jones, Anna Christie, Desire Under the Elms, + more
  9. 9
    August Wilson
    Photo: Freebase

    August Wilson was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each is set in a different decade, depicting the comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century.more

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    • Age: Died at 60 (1945-2005)
    • Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Author, Playwright
    • Credits: The Piano Lesson
  10. 10

    Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour. Beckett ...more

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    • Age: Died at 83 (1906-1989)
    • Birthplace: Foxrock, Republic of Ireland
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Poet, Cricketer, Novelist, Author, + more
    • Credits: Film, Happy Days, Catastrophe, Comédie, En attendant Godot, + more
  11. 11
    Athol Fugard
    Photo: Freebase

    Athol Fugard is an actor, screenwriter and film director.more

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    • Age: age 83
    • Birthplace: Middelburg, Eastern Cape, Eastern Cape, Africa, South Africa
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor, Writer, + more
    • Credits: Gandhi, The Killing Fields, Tsotsi, Boesman and Lena, The Road to Mecca, + more
  12. 12
    Jane Anderson
    Photo: Freebase

    Jane Anderson is an American actress-turned-award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director. She has written and directed one feature film, The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio and wrote the script for the Nicolas Cage film It Could Happen to You.more

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    • Age: age 61
    • Birthplace: New Jersey, United States of America
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Film Director, + more
    • Credits: Mad Men, How to Make an American Quilt, It Could Happen to You, The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom, If These Walls Could Talk 2, + more
  13. 13

    John Patrick Shanley is a Pulitzer Prize–winning American playwright, an Oscar winning screenwriter, and a theatre and film director.more

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    • Age: age 65
    • Birthplace: New York City, Area code 917, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America, + more
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Writer, Film Director, Playwright
    • Credits: Moonstruck, Congo, Doubt, Alive, Joe Versus the Volcano, + more
  14. 14
    Christopher Durang
    Photo: The Huntington

    Christopher Ferdinand Durang is an American playwright known for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. His work was especially popular in the 1980s, though his career seemed to get a second wind in the late 1990s. His play, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike won the Tony Award for Best Play in ...more

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    • Age: age 66
    • Birthplace: Montclair, USA, New Jersey
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Lyricist, Author, Actor, Writer, + more
    • Credits: Housesitter, The Secret of My Success, Joe's Apartment, The Butcher's Wife, Simply Irresistible, + more
  15. 15
    Sarah Ruhl
    Photo: Freebase

    Sarah Ruhl is an American playwright. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a distinguished American playwright in mid-career.more

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    • Age: age 41
    • Birthplace: Wilmette, Illinois, United States of America
    • Profession: Author, Writer, Playwright
  16. 16
    Harold Pinter
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Harold Pinter, CH, CBE was a Nobel Prize-winning English playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. One of the most influential modern British dramatists, his writing career spanned more than 50 years. His best-known plays include The Birthday Party, The Homecoming, and Betrayal, each of which he ...more

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    • Age: Died at 78 (1930-2008)
    • Birthplace: East End of London, Eurasia, London Borough of Hackney, Greater London, United Kingdom, + more
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Poet, Screenwriter, Author, Actor, + more
    • Credits: The Tailor of Panama, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Mansfield Park, Sleuth, The Last Tycoon, + more
  17. 17
    Jean Genet
    Photo: Freebase/CC-BY-SA

    Jean Genet was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a vagabond and petty criminal, but later took to writing. His major works include the novels Querelle of Brest, The Thief's Journal, and Our Lady of the Flowers, and the plays The Balcony, The ...more

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    • Age: Died at 76 (1910-1986)
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Novelist, Screenwriter, Essayist, Writer, Social activist, + more
    • Credits: Querelle, The Maids, Poison, The Balcony, A Song of Love, + more
  18. 18

    Amiri Baraka, formerly known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amear Baraka, was an African-American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism. He was the author of numerous books of poetry and taught at a number of universities, including the State University of New York at Buffalo and the ...more

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    • Age: Died at 80 (1934-2014)
    • Birthplace: USA, Newark, New Jersey
    • Profession: Poet, Author, Actor, Writer, Playwright, + more
    • Credits: Bulworth, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within, Hubert Selby Jr: It'll Be Better Tomorrow, Retour à Gorée, 500 Years Later, + more
  19. 19
    Neil Simon
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Neil Simon is an American playwright and screenwriter. He has written more than thirty plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He has received more combined Oscar and Tony nominations than any other writer. Simon grew up in New York during the Great ...more

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    • Age: age 88
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Film Producer, Screenwriter, Lyricist, Author, Playwright
    • Credits: The Odd Couple, Murder by Death, The Goodbye Girl, The Heartbreak Kid, The Lonely Guy, + more
  20. 20
    Henrik Ibsen
    Photo: Freebase/Public domain

    Henrik Johan Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of realism" and is one of the founders of Modernism in theatre. His major works include Brand, Peer Gynt, An Enemy of the People, Emperor and Galilean, A Doll's House, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 78 (1828-1906)
    • Birthplace: Skien, Norway
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Poet, Author, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: A Doll's House, A Man There Was, An Enemy of the People, The Wild Duck, An Enemy of the People, + more
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