Brian Friel, the acclaimed Irish playwright behind Translations and Philadelphia, Here I Come!, has died at age 86.
He had been sick with an unspecified illness, the BBC reports. Born in the village of Killyclogher in 1928, he worked as a teacher before writing short stories and plays in the 1950s and 60s. He earned tremendous acclaim for his breakthrough play, 1964’s Philadelphia, Here I Come! In 1992, his play Dancing Lughnasa won three Tony Awards, including one for Best Play. It later became a movie starring Meryl Streep.
Irish President Michael D. Higgins called him “one of the giants of Irish literature, and a great Irishman.”
“He was a man of powerful intellect, great courage and generosity,” he said. “These were talents that he delivered with great humor, grit and compassion.”