Queer Places:
Phillips Exeter Academy, 20 Main St, Exeter, NH 03833
135 Marlborough St, Boston, MA 02116
Roxbury Center Cemetery Roxbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, USA

 Robert Woodruff AndersonRobert Woodruff Anderson (April 28, 1917 – February 9, 2009)[1] was an American playwright, screenwriter, and theatrical producer. He received two Academy Award nominations for Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, for the drama films The Nun's Story (1959) and I Never Sang for My Father (1970), the latter based on his play.[2]

Anderson was born in New York City, the son of Myra Esther (Grigg) and James Hewston Anderson, a self-made businessman.[3] He was educated at Phillips Exeter Academy, which he later said he found a lonely experience. While there he fell in love with an older woman, an event which later became the basis of the plot of Tea and Sympathy. The play made its Broadway debut in 1953 and was made into a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film in 1956; both starred Deborah Kerr and John Kerr. The play starred Deborah Kerr (fresh from her career-defining performance as an unfaithful military wife in the film "From Here to Eternity") as the wife of a housemaster at a New England boarding school. She takes a student who's "sensitive" under her wing and tries to protect him from his bullying classmates. It's much more than the story of a "sissy" whose roommate tries to turn him into a regular guy--although it is that. It's also the story of the schoolmaster as a closet case who neglects his wife in and out of the bedroom. As such, it's much more nuanced than the film, and much more important as a study in how a young gay man copes with the hatred of his peers. (The film also added a framing device of the man--now married, of course--returning to the scene of his youthful seduction.) The play spells this out with a husband-and-wife confrontation about his latent homosexuality. Anderson himself was married twice, the second time to the great screen actress Theresa Wright. He had no children, but was survived by a step-daughter.

Anderson also attended Harvard University, where he took an undergraduate as well as a master's degree.[4]

You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running, a collection of four one-act comedies, opened in New York in 1967 and ran for more than 700 performances. His other successful Broadway plays were Silent Night, Lonely Night (1959) and I Never Sang for My Father (1968).[5] He wrote the screenplays for Until They Sail (1957), The Nun's Story (1959), and The Sand Pebbles (1966). He also authored many television scripts, including the TV play The Last Act Is a Solo (1991), and the novels After (1973) and Getting Up and Going Home (1978). He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1981.[6] Anderson was married to Phyllis Stohl from 1940 until her death in 1956 and to actress Teresa Wright from 1959 until their divorce in 1978.

As a supporter for writers' rights in theatre, Anderson was a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and was elected president in 1971. He continued to serve the non-profit organization until 1973.

Anderson died of pneumonia on February 9, 2009 at his home in Manhattan, aged 91. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for seven years prior to his death.[7]


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