'The Way We Were' writer dies at 93

By Jennifer Lipman, May 6, 2011
Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in 'The Way We Were'

Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in 'The Way We Were'

The writer of the classics West Side Story and The Way We Were has died at the age of 93.

Arthur Laurents, born Arthur Levine to atheist Jewish parents in Brooklyn, died on Thursday in New York.

He began writing military training films for the US army during the Second World War, then went on to enjoy an illustrious career in both theatre and film.

Mr Laurents won Tony awards for work on the musicals La Cage aux Folles and Hallelujah, Baby!

He also wrote the script for the musical Gypsy and went on to direct three of its revivals.

After directing a 19-year old Barbra Streisand on the 1962 musical I Can Get It For You Wholesale, he worked with the actress a decade later on The Way We Were. Among his many other film credits were the screenplays for Rope and The Turning Point.

Arthur Laurents was well-known for his high standards and strong views. Playwright Stephen Sondheim once said of him: "He was a joy to write with. It was only when rehearsals started that the trouble began, especially if another director was involved."

Last updated: 12:57pm, May 6 2011