Robert Anderson, the prolific writer who gained wide acclaim as the author of the Broadway hits Tea and Sympathy and You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running has died, the Associated Press is reporting. Anderson was 91 and passed away from pneumonia on Monday at his home in New York; he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
A success when it opened on Broadway in 1953, Tea and Sympathy was originally directed by Elia Kazan and featured, in various productions, such actors as Deborah Kerr, Joan Fontaine, Anthony Perkins, and Ingrid Bergman. Vincente Minnelli directed a 1956 film version. Anderson also wrote the screenplays for movies including 1966’s The Sand Pebbles and 1970’s I Never Sang for My Father, which was an adaptation of his own play. He was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for I Never Sang for My Father; that followed an earlier adapted screenplay nod for 1959’s The Nun’s Story.