List of Famous Playwrights People

List of Famous Playwrights

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List of famous playwrights, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top playwrights in the world? This includes the most prominent playwrights, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable playwrights is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic playwrights 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 playwrights.

List is made up of people like Steve Martin and Tyler Perry.

From reputable, prominent, and well known playwrights to the lesser known playwrights of today, these are some of the best professionals in the playwright field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous playwrights ever?" and "What are the names of famous playwrights?" then you're in the right place. (1835 items)


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  1. 1

    Carrie Frances Fisher is an American actress, novelist, screenwriter, and performance artist. She is best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy, and will reprise the character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She is also known for her bestselling novel Postcards from ...more

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    • Age: age 59
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, USA, California, Beverly Hills
    • Profession: Spokesperson, Novelist, Screenwriter, Actor, Script doctor, + more
    • Credits: Star Wars, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally..., + more
  2. 2
    Ayn Rand
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    Ayn Rand was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism. Born and educated in Russia, Rand moved to the United States in 1926.more

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    • Age: Died at 77 (1905-1982)
    • Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Profession: Novelist, Screenwriter, Philosopher, Playwright
    • Credits: Atlas Shrugged: Part I, Atlas Shrugged: Part II, The Fountainhead, Love Letters, Gawaahi, + more
  3. 3
    Gore Vidal
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    Gore Vidal was an American writer and a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing. As Eugene Louis Vidal, he was born to a political family; his maternal grandfather was Thomas Pryor Gore, U.S. Senator for Oklahoma. As Gore Vidal, he was a ...more

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    • Age: Died at 87 (1925-2012)
    • Birthplace: West Point, Contiguous United States, New York, Orange County, United States of America, + more
    • Profession: Politician, Journalist, Novelist, Screenwriter, Author, + more
    • Credits: Ben-Hur, Gattaca, Bob Roberts, Igby Goes Down, Caligula, + more
  4. 4

    Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 58 (1812-1870)
    • Birthplace: Portsmouth, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Novelist, Author, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: Scrooged, Oliver & Company, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Oliver!, A Christmas Carol, + more
  5. 5
    Harvey Fierstein
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    Harvey Forbes Fierstein is an American actor, playwright, and voice actor. Fierstein has won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his own play Torch Song Trilogy and the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna Turnblad in Hairspray. He also wrote the book for the musical La Cage ...more

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    • Age: age 61
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Screenwriter, Actor, Voice acting, Playwright
    • Credits: Independence Day, Mulan, Mrs. Doubtfire, Death to Smoochy, Bullets over Broadway, + more
  6. 6
    Jean-Paul Sartre
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    Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French philosopher, playwright, novelist, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the key figures in the philosophy of existentialism and phenomenology, and one of the leading figures in 20th-century French philosophy and Marxism. His work ...more

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    • Age: Died at 75 (1905-1980)
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Literary critic, Biographer, Novelist, Screenwriter, Author, + more
    • Credits: No Exit, The Wall, The Condemned of Altona, Huis clos, The Childhood of a Leader
  7. 7
    Amy Sedaris
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    Amy Louise Sedaris is an American actress, author, and comedian. She is known for playing Jerri Blank in the Comedy Central television series Strangers with Candy. She regularly collaborates with her older brother David, a humorist and author.more

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    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: USA, New York, Endicott
    • Profession: Businessperson, Comedian, Screenwriter, Author, Actor, + more
    • Credits: Elf, School of Rock, Shrek the Third, Jennifer's Body, Chicken Little, + more
  8. 8

    Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, DBE was an English crime novelist, short story writer, and playwright. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott, but she is best known for the 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections she wrote under her own name, most of which revolve ...more

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    • Age: Died at 86 (1890-1976)
    • Birthplace: Torquay, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Screenwriter, Writer, Playwright
    • Credits: Murder on the Orient Express, Witness for the Prosecution, And Then There Were None, Death on the Nile, Ten Little Indians, + more
  9. 9

    Laurence John Fishburne III is an American actor, playwright, director, and producer. He is known for his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, Mr. Clean in Apocalypse Now, Cowboy Curtis on the television show Pee-wee's Playhouse, Ike Turner in the Tina Turner biopic What's Love ...more

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    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: Georgia, USA, Augusta
    • Profession: Film Producer, Actor, Voice acting, Film Director, Playwright
    • Credits: The Matrix, Apocalypse Now, Man of Steel, The Matrix Reloaded, The Color Purple, + more
  10. 10
    David Sedaris
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    David Raymond Sedaris is an American humorist, comedian, author, and radio contributor. He was publicly recognized in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries". He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. His next five essay ...more

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    • Age: age 59
    • Birthplace: Broome County, Contiguous United States, New York, United States of America, United States, + more
    • Profession: Humorist, Comedian, Screenwriter, Author, Writer, + more
    • Credits: C.O.G., Smoking
  11. 11
    Langston Hughes
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    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: Joplin, Missouri, United States of America
    • Profession: Poet, Novelist, Lyricist, Author, Essayist, + more
  12. 12
    Ben Elton
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    Benjamin Charles "Ben" Elton is an English comedian, author, playwright, actor and director. He was a part of London's alternative comedy movement of the 1980s and became a writer on series such as The Young Ones and Blackadder, as well as continuing as a stand-up comedian on stage and television. His ...more

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    • Age: age 56
    • Birthplace: Eurasia, Catford, United Kingdom, London, England
    • Profession: Television director, Television producer, Novelist, Actor, Author, + more
    • Credits: The Black Adder, The Young Ones, Much Ado About Nothing, The Thin Blue Line, Maybe Baby, + more
  13. 13

    Howard Zinn was an American historian, author, playwright, and social activist. He was a political science professor at Boston University. Zinn wrote more than 20 books, including his best-selling and influential A People's History of the United States. Zinn described himself as "something of an ...more

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    • Age: Died at 88 (1922-2010)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Historian, Author, Writer, Playwright, Teacher
    • Credits: The American Ruling Class, Howard Zinn: You Can´t Be Neutral on a Moving Train, The People Speak, Sacco and Vanzetti, Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind, + more
  14. 14

    Douglas Noel Adams was an English writer, humorist, and dramatist. Adams is best known as the author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which originated in 1978 as a BBC radio comedy before developing into a "trilogy" of five books that sold more than 15 million copies in his lifetime and ...more

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    • Age: Died at 49 (1952-2001)
    • Birthplace: Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Humorist, Novelist, Screenwriter, Author, Writer, + more
    • Credits: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dirk Gently, Doctor Who: The Five Doctors, Hyperland, + more
  15. 15
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In ...more

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    • Age: Died at 83 (1749-1832)
    • Birthplace: Free City of Frankfurt
    • Profession: Poet, Diplomat, Novelist, Civil servant, Writer, + more
    • Credits: The Sorcerer's Apprentice, The Tale of the Fox, Faust, Faust, Faust, + more
  16. 16
    August Strindberg
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    Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography, history, ...more

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    • Age: Died at 63 (1849-1912)
    • Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
    • Profession: Painter, Poet, Novelist, Screenwriter, Author, + more
    • Credits: Miss Julie, Miss Julie, Dreamplay, Dance of Death, De vader, + more
  17. 17
    Aaron Sorkin
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    Aaron Benjamin Sorkin is an American screenwriter, producer, and playwright. His works include the Broadway plays A Few Good Men and The Farnsworth Invention; the television series Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and The Newsroom; and the films A Few Good Men, The American ...more

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    • Age: age 54
    • Birthplace: Contiguous United States, New York, Westchester County, United States of America, United States, + more
    • Profession: Television producer, Screenwriter, Actor, Script doctor, Playwright
    • Credits: The Social Network, A Few Good Men, Moneyball, The West Wing, The Newsroom, + more
  18. 18
    Friedrich Schiller
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    Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life, Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. They frequently discussed issues ...more

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    • Age: Died at 46 (1759-1805)
    • Birthplace: Marbach am Neckar, Germany
    • Profession: Poet, Historian, Author, Physician, Writer, + more
    • Credits: The Story of William Tell, Carlos, Chamsin, William Tell, The Conspiracy in Genoa
  19. 19

    James Arthur Baldwin was an American novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, and social critic. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son, explore palpable yet unspoken intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America, and their ...more

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    • Age: Died at 63 (1924-1987)
    • Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Activist, Poet, Novelist, Essayist, Writer, + more
    • Credits: Go Tell It on the Mountain
  20. 20
    Federico García Lorca
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    Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca, known as Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director. García Lorca achieved international recognition as an emblematic member of the Generation of '27. He was executed by Nationalist forces during the Spanish Civil War.more

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    • Age: Died at 38 (1898-1936)
    • Birthplace: Fuente Vaqueros, Spain
    • Profession: Theatre Director, Painter, Poet, Pianist, Writer, + more
    • Credits: Blood Wedding, The Open Balcony, The House of Bernarda Alba, Viaje a la luna, Jerma, + more
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