Author and playwright Larry L. King has passed away at the age of 83.

He died at a retirement home in Washington on Thursday (20Dec12) after a long battle with lung disease emphysema.

His wife, Barbara Blaine, tells the Associated Press, "One of the things that I will always remember about Larry is that he remained funny all the way through this illness."

King is perhaps best known for penning the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, as well as a movie of the same name starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds.

He was also an accomplished author, writing a total of 14 books, including None But a Blockhead and Confessions of a White Racist.

In 1982 he won an Emmy Award for his U.S. Tv documentary The Best Little Statehouse in Texas, and he spent much of his time working in Washington, D.C. as a political aide, which became the basis for his best-selling novel Wheeling and Dealing: Confessions of a Capitol Hill Operator.

A private funeral has been planned and King is due to be buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.