Groundbreaking playwright Lanford Wilson has died at the age of 73. Wilson, considered one of the most influential American playwrights of the late 20th century, was known for his gritty, realistic dialogue and his championing of those pushed to the margins of society, the New York Times notes. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for Talley's Folley, the story of a middle-age romance in his hometown of Lebanon, Missouri.
Lanford died of complications from pneumonia on the eve of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater's new production of his Hot L Baltimore, set in the lobby of a down-at-the-heels hotel. "Lanford was a singular voice in the American theater—an important artist, a gentle soul and a good friend," Steppenwolf co-founder Terry Kinney tells AP. "We will miss him sorely." (Read more Lanford Wilson stories.)