Robert Anderson
Date of Birth
Apr 28, 1917
Birth Place:
New York, NY

Biography

During his senior year at Harvard, Robert Anderson wrote the music and libretto for the satirical campus revue Hour Town. While serving the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II, he received a War Department prize for "best play written by a serviceman," Come Marching Home, which received a brief New York showing at the end of the war. Winning a four-year Rockefeller fellowship in 1946, he studied under John Gassner, then taught playwriting at the American Theatre Wing. In 1953, Anderson scored his first Broadway hit with Tea and Sympathy. Written as a veiled attack against McCarthyism, the play gained latter-day respect as the first major American theatrical piece to treat homosexuality with tolerance and understanding. Two years into the show's run, Anderson set up a playwriting unit at the Actor's Studio. He made his screenwriting bow in 1956 with the film version of Tea and Sympathy (1957), then adapted James Michener's Until They Sail and Kathryn Hulme's The Nun's Story for the screen. His subsequent theatrical work included Silent Night, Lonely Night, I Know You Can't Hear Me When the Water's Running, and I Never Sang for My Father; the latter effort earned Anderson an Oscar nomination and a Writers' Guild Award when he adapted it for the screen in 1970. His last screenwriting project was the 1991 TV movie Absolute Strangers, based upon an actual legal contretemps involving a comatose pregnant woman. Anderson was married to actress Teresa Wright from 1959 through 1978. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Provided by Rovi