Theater Giant Harold Pinter Dead at 78

Outspoken playwright was awarded Nobel in 2005
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2008 8:10 AM CST

(Newser) – Harold Pinter, one of the foremost playwrights of the 20th century, has died of cancer at the age of 78. He began his career as a poet before writing such classic plays as The Caretaker and The Homecoming, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2005. His widow, Antonia Fraser, said in a statement to the Guardian: "He was a great, and it was a privilege to live with him for over 33 years. He will never be forgotten."

Pinter was famous for his use of silences and inaction, so much so that the adjective "Pinteresque" has entered the theatrical lexicon. In addition to writing plays, he worked as an actor and director throughout his career. Later in life became an outspoken campaigner against human rights abuses, and in his Nobel lecture he vociferously attacked the American and British governments for the war in Iraq.