American People Famous Playwrights from the United States

Reference
2.4k views 847 items

List of notable or famous playwrights from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top playwrights born in the United States and even some popular playwrights who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American playwrights then this list is the perfect resource for you. These playwrights are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known playwright from the United States is included when available.

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

This historic playwrights from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American playwrights of note?" and "Who are the most famous playwrights from the United States?" These prominent playwrights of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American playwrights.

Use this list of renowned American playwrights to discover some new playwrights that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (847 items)

1
Tyler Perry is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 49
Tyler Perry is an American actor, filmmaker, playwright, author, and songwriter, specializing in the gospel genre. Perry wrote and produced many stage plays during the 1990s and early 2000s. In ...more

2
Steve Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 73
Stephen Glenn "Steve" Martin is an American comedian, actor, musician, writer, and producer. Martin came to public notice as a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later ...more

3
Woody Allen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 83
Heywood "Woody" Allen is an American actor, writer, director, comedian and playwright, whose career spans more than 50 years. He worked as a comedy writer in the 1950s, writing jokes ...more

4
Maya Angelou is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 86 (1928-2014)
Maya Angelou was an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of ...more

5
Ayn Rand is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 77 (1905-1982)
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 ...more

6
Lewis Black is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 70
Lewis Niles Black is an American comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor. He is known for his angry face, comedy and style, which often includes simulating a mental breakdown, or ...more

7
Orson Welles is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 70 (1915-1985)
George Orson Welles was an American actor, director, writer and producer who worked in theater, radio and film. He is best remembered for his innovative work in all three media: in theatre, most ...more

8
Gore Vidal is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 87 (1925-2012)
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 ...more

9
Lisa Edelstein is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 52
Lisa Edelstein is an American actress and playwright known for playing Dr. Lisa Cuddy on the medical drama series House M.D..

10
Harvey Fierstein is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 64
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 ...more

11
Laurence Fishburne is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 57
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 ...more

12
Mae West is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 87 (1893-1980)
Mary Jane "Mae" West was an American actress, singer, playwright, and screenwriter whose entertainment career spanned seven decades. Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a ...more

13
Tennessee Williams is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 72 (1911-1983)
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 ...more

14
Robert Frost is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 89 (1874-1963)
Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. His work was initially published in England before it was published in America. He is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of rural life and his ...more

15
Langston Hughes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 65 (1902-1967)
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 ...more

16
Howard Zinn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 88 (1922-2010)
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 ...more

17
Aaron Sorkin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 57
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, ...more

18
James Baldwin is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 63 (1924-1987)
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 ...more

19
Neil Simon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 91
Marvin Neil Simon was an American playwright, screenwriter and author. He wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations of his plays. He received ...more

20
Peter Stormare is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 65
Rolf Peter Ingvar Storm, known professionally as Peter Stormare, is a Swedish actor, voice actor, theatre director, playwright, and musician. He is probably best known in the United States for ...more

21
Larry Kramer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 83
Larry Kramer is an American playwright, author, public health advocate, and LGBT rights activist. He began his career rewriting scripts while working for Columbia Pictures, which led him to ...more

22
Arthur Laurents is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 94 (1917-2011)
Arthur Laurents was an American playwright, stage director and screenwriter. After writing scripts for radio shows after college and then training films for the U.S. Army during WWII, Laurents ...more

23
Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 80
Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over forty novels, as well as a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short ...more

24
Wallace Shawn is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
age 75
Wallace Michael "Wally" Shawn is an American stand-up comedian, actor, singer, dancer, playwright, essayist, and voice artist, best known for appearing in films, such as Wally Shawn in ...more

25
Robert Anton Wilson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Playwrights from the United States
Dec. at 75 (1932-2007)
Robert Anton Wilson was an American author, novelist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, psychologist, and self-described agnostic mystic. Recognized as an Episkopos, Pope, and saint ...more