Published On: Mon, Jun 6th, 2016

‘One of great writers’ Amadeus playwright Sir Peter Shaffer dies aged 90

Peter Shaffer - YOUTUBE


“One of the true greats of British theatre”, Sir Peter Shaffer,  died at the Marymount Hospice in Ireland, a statment by his agent said.

“It is with great sorrow that we must announce the death of our friend and client, Sir Peter Shaffer CBE whilst on a visit to Ireland with friends and family. He was 90.”

His agent added the renowned writer “is survived by his brother, Brian, nephews Milo and Mark and nieces Cressida and Claudia, whose father and Peter’s twin, the playwright and screenwriter, Anthony Shaffer, died in 2001. We shall all miss him terribly, ” he said.

The statement continued: “His great friend and American agent, Dennis Aspland remained with him in Ireland throughout his short illness. He had been struggling with his health for some time, but was both determined and delighted to have been able to celebrate his 90th birthday in Ireland last month with close family and friends.”

Shaffer was born to a Jewish family in Liverpool. He was the identical twin brother of writer, laywright,  screenwriter and novelist, Anthony Shaffer.

Sir Peter Shaffer wrote more than 18 plays.

The respacted playwright major work include the Hitchcock thriller Frenzy (1972) and the British cult thriller The Wicker Man (1973).

Shaffer’s most notable work was the play ‘Sleuth‘ (1970), which he adapted for the film version with Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine, and was Oscar nominated.

He received Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America for both versions: for Best Play in 1971, and Best Screenplay in 1973.

Equus and Amadeus,  are onther two works for which he won the Tony Award for best play in 1975 and 1981 respectively. The plays were adapted for the big screen, with Amadeus winning eight Academy Awards in 1985.

Other plays include Black Comedy, Lettice And Lovage, The Royal Hunt Of The Sun and Five Finger Exercise.

A statement on the National Theatre website said: “It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Sir Peter Shaffer, CBE.

He was an extraordinary writer, closely associated with the National Theatre.”

Sir Peter Shaffer was awarded the CBE in 1987 and knighted in 2001.

He lived in New York for a number of years

A private funeral will take place in London. Details of a memorial service will be announced.

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