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 William Inge

William Inge

Birth
Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas, USA
Death 10 Jun 1973 (aged 60)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas, USA
Memorial ID 1795 · View Source
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Playwright, Motion Picture Screenwriter. Graduating from Independence, Kansas, High School in 1930, he enrolled at Independence Junior College and later transferred to the University of Kansas at Lawrence, where he earned a B.A. degree in speech and drama in 1935. He received a scholarship to begin a master’s degree at the George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville, Tennessee, but dropped out, discouraged about his dream of becoming an actor. He returned to Kansas and worked for a time as a laborer in highway construction before teaching English and drama in Columbus, Kansas. He returned to Peabody to complete his M. A.; taught at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, and worked as a drama and music critic for the “St. Louis Times”. While writing for the “Times”, he met the playwright Tennessee Williams, whose work inspired him to write his first play, “Come Back, Little Sheba”, which was performed on the Broadway theatre in New York City, New York and earned him the accolade “Most Promising Playwright” of the 1950 season. This and other plays, set in small midwestern towns like Independence, were made into movies: “Picnic” (1953), “Bus Stop” (1956), and “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs” (1957). For “Picnic”, Inge received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and his movie “Splendor in the Grass” earned him the Academy Award Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1961. As the mood of the country changed in the 1960s and 1970s, his plays became less well received, and he left New York City for Hollywood, California but finding little in the way of prospects, returned to teaching at the University of California at Irvine and, in the early 1970s, wrote two novels. Falling into depression, he ended his life in the home he shared with his sister in Hollywood. The Inge family donated his Oscar to the theatre department at the University of Kansas, which built the William Inge Memorial Theatre in his honor. Similarly, the Independence, Kansas Community College founded the William Inge Center for the Arts on their campus in 1982.

Bio by: Eileen Cunningham


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1795
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Inge (3 May 1913–10 Jun 1973), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1795, citing Mount Hope Cemetery, Independence, Montgomery County, Kansas, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .