Playwright. His "The Spanish Tragedy" (1589) was the most popular and influential play of the Elizabethan era. He is believed to have written an early version of "Hamlet" (now lost), which was the basis for Shakespeare's later tragedy. The only other surviving play by Kyd is "Cornelia" (1594), a translation of a French drama. In May of 1593 the London Star Chamber arrested and tortured him for posession of heretical papers; he insisted the papers belonged to fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe, with whom he had once shared rooms. Marlowe was killed in a tavern fight at the end of May and charges against Kyd were dropped. His health broken by his imprisonment, he died impoverished the following year.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards