Arthur Kopit, three-time Tony-nominated playwright, passes away at 83

Kopit earned a Tony nod in 1970 for Indians, a critique of the Vietnam War and America’s treatment of Native Americans that starred Stacy Keach as Buffalo Bill.

The Associated Press April 04, 2021 10:05:50 IST
Arthur Kopit, three-time Tony-nominated playwright, passes away at 83

A 1990 file image of Arthur Kopit. Image via AP/Nick Ut

New York: Arthur Kopit, a three time Tony Award-nominated playwright and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist known for fusing disparate genres, absurdism and a darkly comic world view, has died. He was 83.

Kopit died Friday, said Rick Miramontez, a senior publicist at DKC/O&M PR. No other details were available.

Kopit earned a Tony nod in 1970 for Indians, a critique of the Vietnam War and America’s treatment of Native Americans that starred Stacy Keach as Buffalo Bill. Nine years later, he received another nomination for Wings, the story of a stroke victim’s recovery starring Constance Cummings. Both Indians and Wings were Pulitzer finalists for drama.

Kopit earned his third Tony nomination in 1982 for Nine, an adaptation of the Federico Fellini’s film 8 1/2. Nine returned to Broadway in 2003 and won two Tony Awards, including best revival. In 2009, Rob Marshall directed the film based on Kopit’s script.

Kopit’s other works include Phantom, a musical version of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux that has been overshadowed by the more popular version by Andrew Lloyd Weber, and The End of the World, a mordant investigation of the arms race and nuclear destruction.

He made his Broadway debut in 1963 with Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad, which Jerome Robbins directed on Broadway while Kopit was still an undergraduate at Harvard.

Kopit later taught at Wesleyan University, Yale University, and the City College of New York. He was a member of the Lark Play Development Center,

He is survived by his wife, Leslie Garis; his children Alex, Ben, Kat; his grandchildren Arthur, Beatrix, and Clara; and his sister, Susan.

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