Playwright, Sir Peter Shaffer dies at 90

Leading British playwright and screenwriter, Sir Peter Shaffer, of the Tony-winning dramas “Equus” and “Amadeus” died yesterday in County Cork, Ireland. His agent, Rupert Lord, confirmed his death. Shaffer first came to New Yorker’s attention with “Five Finger Exercise” in 1959 when he was awarded a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. He continued over the years to write a unique mix of philosophical dramas and satirical comedies and in 1975 was awarded the Tony for Best Play for “Equus” — a journey into the mind of a 17-year old stable boy who had plunged a spike into the eyes of six horses. Shaffer followed that success in 1979 with the Tony-winning “Amadeus” — about the rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and court composer Antonio Salieri. He went on to write the screenplay for “Amadeus” earning eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Peter Shaffer, was 90.

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