Tennessee Williams

27 Nov Tennessee Williams

Born in Columbus, Mississippi on March 26, 1911 to Edwina and Cornelius Williams, Thomas Lanier Williams, best known as Tennessee Williams, was considered one of America’s major mid-twentieth-century playwrights, applauded for his powerful character-driven plays, like The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The height of Williams’ career spanned the 1940s and ’50s when he worked with the era’s premier artists, including producer/director, Ilia Kazan. By 1945, The Glass Menagerie had opened on Broadway and it won the New York Critics Circle, The Donaldson, and Sidney Howard Memorial awards. In 1948, he was the first playwright to receive the Pulitzer Prize for drama, the Donaldson Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in the same year for “A Streetcar Named Desire.” In 1955, he won the Pulitzer for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Williams once said: “Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it…. Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.” A master of dramatic moments with tormented characters struggling for respect and hope in a world that denied both, Williams’s repertoire includes over 25 full-length plays, numerous short plays, poetry, essays, and short stories. Named a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Williams accumulated many awards, including 4 New York Drama Critics Awards; 3 Donaldsons; 3 Tony Awards; the New York Film Critics Award; a Medal of Honor from the National Arts Club; the Presidential Medal of Freedom; and an honorary doctorate from Harvard University. In 1994, The U. S. Postal Service honored Tennessee Williams on a stamp. He departed this world on February 25, 1983.