'West Side Story' Playwright Arthur Laurents Dies

By Nicole Bode on May 6, 2011 8:16am 

Writer and producer Arthur Laurents poses with actress Chita Rivera outside of 'West Side Story' at the Palace Theater on Broadway, February 26, 2009.
Writer and producer Arthur Laurents poses with actress Chita Rivera outside of 'West Side Story' at the Palace Theater on Broadway, February 26, 2009.
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Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

MANHATTAN — Award-winning playwright Arthur Larents, who was responsible for hit musicals including "West Side Story," has died at his Manhattan home at the age of 93.

Laurents reportedly died of complications of pneumonia and passed away "peacefully in his sleep," his agent told the Daily News.

Laurents won two Tony Awards — for best musical for "Hallelujah, Baby!" in 1968 and best director of a musical for "La Cage aux Folles" in 1984 — as well as 10 Oscars for the film adaptation of West Side Story, including best picture. He also earned an Oscar nomination for original screenplay for the 1977 film Turning Point with Shirley MacLaine, Anne Bancroft and a young Mikhail Baryshnikov.

The prolific playwright, author, and director was also responsible for the script for Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford's "The Way We Were" (1973), and worked with Hollywood's top actors and directors, including Alfred Hitchcock, Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn, and Ethel Merman.

He was predeceased by his partner, Tom Hatcher, according to reports.

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