Peter Shaffer dead: Equus and Amadeus playwright dies aged 90

'Peter Shaffer was one of the great writers of his generation,' says the Director of the National Theatre

During his career, Sir Peter wrote more than 18 plays and won numerous awards
During his career, Sir Peter wrote more than 18 plays and won numerous awards

The playwright and screenwriter Sir Peter Shaffer has died at the age of 90.

Sir Peter's popular successes in the West End and Broadway include Equus, Amadeus, and The Royal Hunt of the Sun.

Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre where he frequently staged plays, expressed sadness at the news.

"Peter Shaffer was one of the great writers of his generation and the National Theatre was enormously lucky to have had such a fruitful and creative relationship with him," Norris said. "The plays he leaves behind are an enduring legacy."

During his career, Sir Peter wrote more than 18 plays and won numerous awards including a Golden Globe and an Oscar for best-adapted screenplay for his adapted screenplay of Amadeus. He was awarded his CBE in 1987.

Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe starred in his play Equus in its West End debut.

Sir Peter was born into a Jewish family in Liverpool and was the son of Reka and Jack Shaffer, who was an estate agent. He was the twin brother of fellow playwright Anthony Shaffer who died from a heart attack at his home in Fulham in west London in 2001.

Sir Peter was a Bevin Boy coal miner during World War II and went on to study history at Trinity College before embarking on his career in theatre.

His first playThe Salt Land was presented on the BBC in 1954. Soon after that he went on to present The Royal Hunt of the Sun at the Chichester Festival and subsequently at the Old Vic in 1964. His following play, Black Comedy, made its debut the next year with an all-star cast of Dame Maggie Smith, Albert Finney and Sir Derek Jacobi.

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