Friel passed away Friday (02Oct15) after a long illness. Further details about his death were not released as WENN went to press.

He is best known for his 1990 play Dancing at Lughnasa, which won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Play, as well as three Tony Awards, including Best Play, and New York Drama Critics Circle and Drama Desk prizes.

The play was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep in 1998.

Friel wrote more than 30 stage shows during his 60-year career, including Lovers, Translations, and Philadelphia, Here I Come! The latter was performed on Broadway and adapted into the 1970 film of the same name.

He co-founded the Field Day Theatre Company with actor Stephen Rea in 1980, and was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.