Dario Fo, dramatist and Nobel winner, dies at 90

Italy and the world mourn the loss of Dario Fo, dramatist and Nobel winner, who died this week at age 90.

Click here for the New York Times obituary.

And click here for a Repubblica profile (in Italian), including remembrances by many of his contemporaries.

Ever since his first major success as a performer and playwright in the 1960s in Italy, Fo was known throughout the world as one of the great comic writers of his generation and his works were widely performed and enjoyed by audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.

The socially and politically charged nature of his plays often led to controversy and mixed reactions to his work. And some of his most famous productions were highly critical of government and religious institutions.

But his indefatigable humor and his ability to deliver plays that appealed to people from all walks of life endeared him and his work to generations of Italians and people who read and saw his works performed in multiple languages, including English.

Thanks to the highly accessible, “everyday” language he often employed in his plays, they were also extremely popular among a generation of American college students learning Italian and his plays were frequently performed on American university campuses in the 1980s and 90s. As a result, many Americans are familiar with his work despite that fact that he was banned from traveling here due to his controversial political leanings.

In 1984, his most famous work, “Accidental Death of an Anarchist,” was produced on Broadway.

In 1997, he was awarded the Nobel prize for literature. He was the sixth Italian to win the prize for the literary arts.

He often performed with his wife Franca Rame (pictured above in an undated photo from the 1960s; image via Wikipedia), a playwright and actor in her own right.

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