Tennessee Williams Facts

Tennessee Williams Facts
Tennessee Williams was an American author and playwright best known for his play A Streetcar Named Desire. Tennessee was born Thomas Lanier Williams III on March 26th, 1911 in Columbus, Mississippi to Edwina Dakin Williams, a 'Southern Belle', and Cornelius Coffin Williams, a traveling shoe salesman. He had an older sister Rose Isabel Williams and a younger brother Walter Dakin Williams. His family was dysfunctional, and this childhood is believed to have inspired Tennessee's writing. When he was 16 Tennessee won third prize for his essay "Can a Good Wife be a Good Sport?" In 1928 his short story The Vengeance of Nitocris was published in Weird Tales.
Interesting Tennessee Williams Facts:
Tennessee went on to study journalism but by the time he was 24 he was depressed.
Tennessee furthered his education at Washington University, the University of Iowa, and the Dramatic Workshop at The New School in New York City.
In 1939 Tennessee began using the name 'Tennessee Williams' in place of his given name.
Tennessee worked a variety of jobs while he wrote plays in order to support himself in the 1930s. He worked at a chicken ranch.
In 1939 Tennessee William's agent secured him a $1000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for the play he wrote called Battle of Angels. It went on to be produced in Boston in 1940 but did not receive positive attention.
While living in the French Quarter in New Orleans in 1939 Tennessee Williams found the inspiration for his 1977 play titled Vieux Carre.
Because of the attention from the Rockefeller Grant Tennessee Williams was hired by Metro Goldwyn Mayer in Hollywood for a six-month contract earning him a $250 per week paycheck.
Tennessee William's 1944 play The Glass Menagerie met with good reviews.
A Streetcar Named Desire was produced in 1947 and Tennessee Williams' reputation as a playwright was established.
Seven more plays written by Tennessee Williams were produced between 1948 and 1959 including Summer and Smoke (1948), The Rose Tattoo (1951), Camino Real (1953), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), Orpheus Descending (1957), Garden District (1958), and Sweet Bird of Youth (1959).
Tennessee Williams won two Pulitzer Prizes by 1959. He had also won three Donaldson Awards, a Tony Award, and three New York Drama Critic's Circle Awards.
In the 1950s both A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie were adapted to film.
In later years several more of Tennessee William's plays were adapted for film including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Rose Tattoo, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, Sweet Bird of Youth and Summer and Smoke.
In the 1960s and 1970s Tennessee began to struggle with alcohol and drugs and his work suffered.
The last play that Tennessee Williams wrote was A House Not Meant to Stand. It was produced in 1982 and ran for 40 performances. It received positive reviews.
Tennessee Williams died on February 25th, 1983 at the age of 71.
In 2009 Tennessee Williams was inducted into the Poets' Corner at the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine. There is a theatre in Key West, Florida named after him as well.
In 1984 Tennessee William was honored on a U.S. postal stamp.

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