Few people defined Broadway theater more than Arthur Laurents. He died last week at age 92 and had been a force in entertainment since the 1940s.
An irascible, brilliant writer and director, he wrote the book for such classic musicals as Gypsy and West Side Story. He wrote a little show in the early sixties called I Can Get It For You Wholesale that marked the debut of a very young up-and-comer named Babra Streisand. He wrote movie scripts too, including three classics: Rope (directed by Alfred Hitchcock), The Way We Were (featuring Barbra Streisand's signature song), and The Turning Point (ones of the greatest ballet movies ever made). He also directed theater and taught the craft of writing and directing to generations of artists, including to people like Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Soundheim.
He was also openly gay, and proudly lived with his partner for more than 50 years.
Arthur Laurents was one of the New York greats and he will be missed.