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Arthur Laurents, acclaimed playwright-director, has died

May 5, 2011 |  6:23 pm

Arthur-laurents-west-side-story gypsy

This post has been corrected. See note below for details.

Playwright-director Arthur Laurents, who wrote the books for the beloved musicals "West Side Story" and "Gypsy," has died. He was believed to be 93.

Jonathan Lomma, Laurents' agent at William Morris Endeavor, confirmed his death Thursday, saying that "he died earlier this evening, peacefully in his sleep, at his home in New York City, after a short illness.”

Lomma added that Laurents had told him that when he died, he wanted it noted that “he was predeceased by his partner, Tom Hatcher, with whom he had lived in happiness for more than 50 years.”

Laurents also wrote the 1940s drama "Home of the Brave." He won Tony Awards for his book for "Hallelujah, Baby!" (1968) and as director of the original 1984 production of "La Cage aux Folles."

A full obituary will follow on

[Updated, 6:51 p.m. May 5: An earlier version of this post referred to Laurents' agency as William Morris Agency. Its name is William Morris Endeavor.]


Theater review: "West Side Story" on Broadway

Arthur Laurents: Barbra Streisand won't be playing Mama Rose in new "Gypsy" movie

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Arthur Laurents as he prepared to direct the 2009 revival of "West Side Story." Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times