Friday, May 6, 2011
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Arthur Laurents, who penned the librettos for Broadway classics West Side Story and Gypsy as well as screenplays including The Way We Were and The Turning Point, died Thursday of pneumonia complications in Manhattan. He was 93.
Laurents also was an accomplished director during a more than 70-year career that began with radio plays in college and continued through the 2009 Main Stem revival of West Side Story he directed. He won Tony Awards as author of the book for best musicalHallelujah, Baby! in 1968 and best director (musical) for La Cage aux Follesin 1984.
He was best known in Hollywood for his acclaimed scripts for The Way We Were(1973), which featured the romantic chemistry of its characters as played by Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand, and Turning Point (1977) — which he also produced — the story of a lifelong friendship between two women played by Shirley MacLaine and Anne Bancroft. He earned best picture and original screenplay Oscar nominations and a WGA Award for Turning Point.
The movies’ box office and critical popularity served notice of Laurents’ strong skill in creating well-rounded female characters.
Whirlygig, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization dedicated to promoting arts development and education in downtown Las Vegas; providing the Valley community with accessible and entertaining opportunities to enjoy and appreciate homegrown art and culture; and celebrating and supporting the work of emerging artists. Whirlygig’s primary program is First Friday, the monthly community-based art and entertainment eve