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Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein

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Also Known As: Died: January 30, 2006
Born: October 18, 1950 Cause of Death: lymphoma
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: playwright, screenwriter, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This American playwright has been embraced as the voice of a generation of women who are caught between their base needs for motherhood and nurturing and their equally important needs for an intellectual purpose in their lives. Wendy Wasserstein is best recalled for "The Heidi Chronicles" (1989), her Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play in which the life of a woman is followed from college to the brink of middle age, a period in which she is unfulfilled in relationships and career, and elects, finally, to raise a child on her own. Wasserstein also scripted the 1988 TNT production that featured Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Hulce.

This American playwright has been embraced as the voice of a generation of women who are caught between their base needs for motherhood and nurturing and their equally important needs for an intellectual purpose in their lives. Wendy Wasserstein is best recalled for "The Heidi Chronicles" (1989), her Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play in which the life of a woman is followed from college to the brink of middle age, a period in which she is unfulfilled in relationships and career, and elects, finally, to raise a child on her own. Wasserstein also scripted the 1988 TNT production that featured Jamie Lee Curtis and Tom Hulce.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Life With Mikey (1993) Mrs Wasserman
5.
 Beatles Revolution, The (2000) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1973:
Had first play produced at Playwrights Horizons, "Any Woman Can't"
1975:
Her "Uncommon Women and Others" was produced in New Haven
1978:
Adapted "Uncommon Women and Others" for a PBS production
1981:
Appeared in "The Hotel Play" at La Mama Experimental Theatre
1981:
Garnered acclaim for her Off-Broadway hit "Isn't It Romantic?"
1984:
Wrote "The Comedy Zone" for CBS
1985:
Taught at Columbia University
1989:
Had first major Braodway success with "The Heidi Chronicles"; originally produced at Playwrights Horizons
1992:
Won praise for her semi-autobiographical play "The Sisters Rosensweig"
1993:
Acted in the film "Life With Mikey"
1995:
Wrote the teleplay for "The Heidi Chronicles" (TNT)
1996:
Did stint as guest caller on episode of "Frasier" (NBC)
1997:
Her "An American Daughter" premiered on Broadway after a workshop in Seattle
1998:
Feature screenwriting debut, "The Object of My Affection"
1999:
Contributed to the libretto of the opera "Central Park"
2000:
Wrote television adaptation of "An American Daughter" (Lifetime)
2000:
Premiered new play "Old Money" Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Mount Holyoke College: South Hadley , Massachusetts - 1971
City College of New York: New York , New York - 1973
School of Drama, Yale University: New Haven , Connecticut - 1976

Notes

"It's odd. I'm not at all socially agile. I'm actually a very shy person. I'm always going on panels or speaking on behalf of the arts. I think, in a way, you're responsible for the world you live in. I don't know whether that's from going to Ethical Culture School or too many citizenship classes". --Wendy Wasserstein in LIVE!, February 1997.

"Wendy is an ebullient, sly, extravagantly gifted and wise woman. She is comforting and endlessly available to her friends, who are therefore endlessly needy as the space allows." --Meryl Streep quoted in LIVE!, February 1997.

"Wendy never answers her phone. This is a good thing. The outgoing messages on her machine are plays in themselves. Sometimes it's her cat Ginger telling you about her traumatic morning. Sometimes it's a retired chorus girl warbling an operatic version of 'O Little Town of Bethlehem.' All of them are Wendy". --Swoosie Kurtz in LIVE!, February 1997.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Morris Wasserstein. Textiles manufacturer.
mother:
Lola Wasserstein. Former dancer.
brother:
Bruce Wasserstein. Investment banker.
sister:
Sandra Wasserstein Meyer. Marketing executive. Older; died in December 1997 at age 60 from breast cancer; was the model for Sara Rosensweig in Wasserstein's play "The Sisters Rosensweig".
sister:
Georgette Wasserstein Levis. Older; was the model for the character Dr. Gorgeous in Wasserstein's "The Sisters Rosensweig".
cousin:
Leslie Moonves. Head of CBS TV.
daughter:
Lucy Jane Wasserstein. Born prematurely in September 1999.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Shiksa Goddess: Or, How I Spent My Forties" Alfred A. Knopf

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