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List of Famous Dramatists

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. William Shakespeare fans will also enjoy this list of words invented by Shakespeare and TV shows influenced by the English playwright. 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 list of famous dramatists includes American dramatists, like Arthur Miller and Langston Hughes, British dramatists, and classic dramatists such as Ben Jonson. 

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. 

  • William Shakespeare (bapt. 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest ...more
  • James Mercer Langston Hughes (February 1, 1902 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He moved to New York City as a young ...more
  • Arthur Asher Miller (October 17, 1915 – February 10, 2005) was an American playwright, essayist, and a controversial figure in the twentieth-century American theater. Among his most popular plays are ...more
  • David Alan Mamet (; born November 30, 1947) is an American playwright, film director, screenwriter and author. He won a Pulitzer Prize and received Tony nominations for his plays Glengarry Glen Ross ...more
  • Samuel Shepard Rogers III (November 5, 1943 – July 27, 2017), known professionally as Sam Shepard, was an American actor, playwright, author, screenwriter, and director whose career spanned half a ...more
  • Sir Tom Stoppard (born Tomáš Straussler; 3 July 1937) is a Czech-born British playwright and screenwriter. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays ...more
  • Benjamin Jonson (c. 11 June 1572 – c. 16 August 1637) was an English playwright and poet, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of ...more
  • Thomas Lanier Williams III (March 26, 1911 – February 25, 1983), known by his pen name Tennessee Williams, was an American playwright. Along with contemporaries Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, he ...more
  • Eugene Gladstone O'Neill (October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953) was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into U.S. ...more
  • August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) 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 ...more
  • Samuel Barclay Beckett (; 13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, theatre director, poet, and literary translator. A resident of Paris for most of his ...more
  • Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard OIS (born 11 June 1932) is a South African playwright, novelist, actor, and director who writes in South African English. He is best known for his political plays opposing ...more
  • Jane Anderson (born c. 1954 in California) is an American actress, playwright, screenwriter and director. She wrote and directed the feature film The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio (2005), and wrote ...more
  • Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, (née Miller; 15 September 1890 – 12 January 1976) was an English writer. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, ...more
  • John Patrick Shanley (born October 13, 1950) is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. His play, Doubt: A Parable, won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2005 Tony Award for Best ...more
  • Christopher Ferdinand Durang (born January 2, 1949) is an American playwright known for works of outrageous and often absurd comedy. His work was especially popular in the 1980s, though his career ...more
  • Sarah Ruhl (born January 24, 1974) is an American playwright, professor, and essayist. Among her most popular plays are Eurydice (2003), The Clean House (2004), and In the Next Room (or the Vibrator ...more
  • Harold Pinter (; 10 October 1930 – 24 December 2008) was a British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor. A Nobel Prize winner, Pinter was one of the most influential modern British ...more
  • Jean Genet (French: [ʒɑ̃ ʒənɛ]; (1910-12-19)19 December 1910 – (1986-04-15)15 April 1986) was a French novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and political activist. Early in his life he was a ...more
  • Amiri Baraka (born Everett LeRoi Jones; October 7, 1934 – January 9, 2014), previously known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amear Baraka, was an American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music ...more
  • Marvin Neil Simon (July 4, 1927 – August 26, 2018) was an American playwright, screenwriter and author. He wrote more than 30 plays and nearly the same number of movie screenplays, mostly adaptations ...more
  • Henrik Johan Ibsen (; Norwegian: [ˈhɛnrɪk ˈɪpsn̩]; 20 March 1828 – 23 May 1906) was a Norwegian playwright and theatre director. As one of the founders of modernism in theatre, Ibsen is often ...more
  • Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish poet and playwright. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most ...more
  • Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (Russian: Антон Павлович Чехов, tr. Antón Pávlovič Čéhov, IPA: [ɐnˈton ˈpavɫəvʲɪtɕ ˈtɕɛxəf]; 29 January 1860 – 15 July 1904) was a Russian playwright and short-story writer, ...more
  • George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many ...more