Ronald Harwood, Oscar-Winning Screenwriter, Is Dead at 85

Ronald Harwood, a British author, playwright and screenwriter who earned three Oscar nominations and won for best adapted screenplay in 2003 for “The Pianist,” died on Tuesday at his home in Sussex, England. He was 85.

His agent, Judy Daish, confirmed his death to the BBC but did not specify a cause.

Mr. Harwood was one of Britain’s leading playwrights in the latter half of the 20th century. His plays included “The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold,” adapted from a novel by Evelyn Waugh; “After the Lions,” about the French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt; and, perhaps most notably, “The Dresser,” which opened on Broadway in 1981 and received a Tony nomination for best play the next year.

Like many of Mr. Harwood’s works, “The Dresser” explored the world of performers and the theater. It centers on an aging, tyrannical Shakespearean actor and his backstage dresser, or personal assistant. It was based on Mr. Harwood’s own experience as a young man working as the dresser for the English theater actor Donald Wolfit.

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