Irish Playwright Leonard Dies

Irish playwright HUGH LEONARD has died, aged 82.
Leonard had been receiving hospital treatment for some time and died in Dublin, Ireland on Thursday (12Feb09).
He was born John Keyes Byrne but took on his pen name in the 1950s to hide his double life as an aspiring, outspoken writer from his Irish civil service employers.
He was famed for his father-and-son drama Da, which won a Tony Award for its run on Broadway in 1978. It was later made into a Martin Sheen-starring film in 1982.
Leonard also held a longstanding monthly column in the Irish Sunday Independent newspaper.
Irish President Mary MCAleese paid tribute to the writer: "Hugh will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of his company and counsel throughout the years.
"(He) infused his work with a unique wit, all the while demonstrating a great intuition, perceptiveness and forgiveness of human nature."
Leonard is survived by his second wife, Kathy, and daughter, Danielle.


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