Tributes are pouring in for legendary British playwright Harold Pinter, who died on Wednesday (24Dec08) aged 78.
The writer, who penned classic plays including The Birthday Party and The Dumb Waiter and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2005 for his contribution to the arts, passed away following a long battle with cancer.
And friends and former colleagues have lined up to pay tribute to Pinter following his death.
Actor Sir Michael Gambon said: "I had the privilege to know Harold well and was in many of his plays. I created a couple of parts for him in first productions. He was our God, Harold Pinter, for actors. He was the man who wrote the plays you wanted to be in."
Pinter's second wife, Lady Antonia Fraser, said: "He was a great, and it was a privilege to live with him for over 33 years. He will never be forgotten."
Former British MP Tony Benn said: "His death will leave a huge gap that will be felt by the whole political spectrum."
And English actor David Bradley, currently starring in Pinter's No Man's Land in London's West End, added: "I'm very honoured to have known him personally and professionally over the past 10 years. It's a huge loss. People from Germany, Israel and China would come backstage saying Harold Pinter was so important to them. He wrote about oppression and people taking terrible advantage and oppressing each other on a personal level. Although he did not write the plays in an overtly political way they stood the test of time because they have universal themes. They meant so much to people in different ways."