READ 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)

Carrie Fisher is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Carrie Fisher 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 ...more

Ayn Rand is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Ayn Rand 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

Gore Vidal is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Gore Vidal 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

Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Charles Dickens 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. ...more

Harvey Fierstein is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Harvey Fierstein 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

Jean-Paul Sartre is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Jean-Paul Sartre 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 ...more

Amy Sedaris is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Amy Sedaris 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 ...more

Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Agatha Christie 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 ...more

Laurence Fishburne is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Laurence Fishburne 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

David Sedaris is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
David Sedaris 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 ...more

Langston Hughes is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Langston Hughes 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

Ben Elton is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Ben Elton 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 ...more

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Howard Zinn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Howard Zinn 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

Douglas Adams is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Douglas Adams 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 ...more

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 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 ...more

August Strindberg is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
August Strindberg 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 ...more

Aaron Sorkin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Aaron Sorkin 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

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Friedrich Schiller is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Friedrich Schiller 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, ...more

James Baldwin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
James Baldwin 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

Federico García Lorca is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Federico García Lorca Federico del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús García Lorca, known as Federico García Lorca was a Spanish poet, playwright, and theatre director. García Lorca achieved ...more

Larry Kramer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Larry Kramer 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

Joyce Carol Oates is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Joyce Carol Oates 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

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Arthur Laurents is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Arthur Laurents 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 World War II, ...more

Jean Genet is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Jean Genet 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 ...more

Anne Sexton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Anne Sexton Anne Sexton was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die. Themes of her poetry include her long ...more

Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Jean Cocteau Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French writer, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. Cocteau is best known for his novel Les Enfants Terribles, and the films Blood ...more

Charles Busch is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Charles Busch Charles Louis Busch is an American actor, screenwriter, playwright and female impersonator, known for his appearances on stage in his own camp style plays and in film and television. He wrote ...more

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Frank O'Hara is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Frank O'Hara Francis Russell "Frank" O'Hara was an American writer, poet and art critic. Because of his employment as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, O'Hara became prominent in New York ...more

George M. Cohan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
George M. Cohan George Michael Cohan, known professionally as George M. Cohan, was an American entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer. Cohan began his career as a child, ...more

Alejandro Jodorowsky is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Alejandro Jodorowsky Alejandro Jodorowsky is a Chilean filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and spiritual guru. Best known for his avant-garde films, he has been "venerated by cult ...more

Honoré de Balzac is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Honoré de Balzac Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie humaine, which presents a ...more

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist and art critic, and one of the most outstanding representatives of the Enlightenment era. His plays and ...more

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Clive Barker is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Clive Barker Clive Barker is an English writer, film director, and visual artist best known for his work in both fantasy and horror fiction. Barker came to prominence in the mid-1980s with a series of short ...more

Henrik Ibsen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Henrik Ibsen 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 ...more

David Mamet is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
David Mamet 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 ...more

George Bernard Shaw is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
George Bernard Shaw 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 ...more

Jeff Daniels is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Jeff Daniels Jeffrey Warren "Jeff" Daniels is an American actor, musician, and playwright. He founded a nonprofit theater company, the Purple Rose Theatre Company, in his home state of Michigan. He ...more

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Bob Mould is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Bob Mould Robert Arthur "Bob" Mould is an American musician, principally known for his work as guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for alternative rock bands Hüsker Dü in the 1980s and

Frankie Avalon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Frankie Avalon Frankie Avalon is an American actor, singer, playwright, and former teen idol.

Cormac McCarthy is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Cormac McCarthy Cormac McCarthy is an American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter. He has written ten novels, spanning the southern gothic, western, and post-apocalyptic genres. He won the Pulitzer Prize ...more

Eugene O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Eugene O'Neill 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 ...more

Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Anton Chekhov Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, playwright and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a playwright produced four ...more

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Anthony Burgess is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Anthony Burgess John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English writer and composer. From relatively modest beginnings in a Catholic family in Manchester, ...more

Ben Hecht is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Ben Hecht Ben Hecht was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist and novelist. He received screen credits, alone or in collaboration, for the stories or screenplays of some ...more

Harold Pinter is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Harold Pinter 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 ...more

D. W. Griffith is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
D. W. Griffith David Llewelyn Wark "D. W." Griffith was an American film director, mostly remembered as the director of the 1915 film The Birth of a Nation and the subsequent film Intolerance. He is ...more

Craig Lucas is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Craig Lucas Craig Lucas is an American playwright, screenwriter, theatre director, musical actor, and film director.

Alan Bennett is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Alan Bennett Alan Bennett is an English playwright, screenwriter, actor and author. He was born in Leeds and attended Oxford University where he studied history and performed with the Oxford Revue. He stayed ...more

Arthur Miller is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Arthur Miller 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, ...more

Graham Greene is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Playwrights
Graham Greene Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist and author regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene had ...more