Category Archives: Life of A.R. Gurney

Celebrating the Life of A.R. Gurney

The prolific playwright, screenwriter, and novelist, A.R. Gurney passed away recently at the noble age of 86 years old. Gurney was a native of New York City and is survived by his wife of 60 years, Molly Gurney. Mr. Gurney also leaves behind four children and eight beloved grandchildren. The New York Times, a paper that has been involved in the career of A.R. Gurney for decades since his initial release of his classic play, The Cocktail Hour, has recently published a piece that relays the events of Gurney’s eventful life – a life that was filled to the brim with creative ingenuity, passionate storytelling, and utter talent.


Gurney was born in Buffalo, New York, the middle child of A.R. Gurney, Sr. and Marion Spaulding. After graduating from Williams College in 1952, Gurney attend Yale School of Drama for four years. He then began to work as a humanities professor at MIT. Gurney maintained a stead career as a professor for 20 years before he was able to write plays full time. His first successful play was The Dining Room, a play released in 1981. Following the commercial success of this play, Gurney began a career of full-time play and script writing. His stories often explored the anxieties of upper class, white, anglo saxon life in the Northeast. Having being brought up among this group of people, Gurney had a unique outlook on the lives of these people and included characters based off people he had known in New York in virtually every play he every wrote.


Following the release of his first successful play, which explored themes of culture, traditional values, infidelity, senescence, and denial, A. R. Gurney went on to produce over 50 unique plays, 4 novels, and 10 screen plays. The writer is know remembered for his extraordinary contribution to American theatre, his courageous style of writing that reflecting the ideals of an entire generation, and his love for the arts.