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James McLure, playwright and actor, dies at 59

February 21, 2011 |  5:35 pm

McLure James McLure, a playwright and actor best known for his two one-act plays that reached Broadway, died Thursday from cancer at his home in Marina del Rey, said his sister, Jenny Schroeder. He was 59.

McLure's plays "Lone Star," set behind a small-town Texas bar, and "Pvt. Wars," the story of three young Vietnam veterans in a hospital, were produced on Broadway in 1979.

"I'm part of the Vietnam generation," McLure told the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch in 1994. "My plays are a combination of autobiography and people I've known."

In a 1984 Times review of an expanded version of "Pvt. Wars" at the Zephyr Theatre in West Hollywood, critic Lawrence Christon noted McLure's "extraordinary delicacy … to suggest how irreparably these men have been wounded, and not altogether physically."

James Miller McLure Jr. was born Aug. 5, 1951, in Alexandria, La., the second of three children of Mary and James McLure. He grew up in Shreveport, La., and graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he started writing "Lone Star" for use in an acting class.

McLure's other plays included "Laundry and Bourbon" and "The Day They Shot John Lennon." His "Wild Oats," a Wild West adaptation of an 18th-century farce by John O'Keefe, was performed at the Mark Taper Forum in 1984.

--Keith Thursby

Photo: James McLure