Tony-Nominated Lyricist and Translator Richard Wilbur Dies at 96 | Playbill

Obituaries Tony-Nominated Lyricist and Translator Richard Wilbur Dies at 96 The Candide co-lyricist, literary translator, and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet passed away on October 14.
Richard Wilbur Stathis Orphanos

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, translator, and lyricist Richard Wilbur died on October 15 at age 96, the Associated Press has reported. Mr. Wilbur, who worked in the theatre mainly as a translator, was also a Tony nominee for his work as a lyricist on the 1956 Leonard Bernstein musical Candide.

Mr. Wilbur co-wrote the lyrics for Candide with Dorothy Parker and John Latouche. The show, a musical adaptation of Voltaire's satirical novel of the same name, featured music by Bernstein and a book by Lillian Hellman. Later productions would include additional lyrics from Stephen Sondheim.

Candide was last revived on Broadway in 1997, where it was nominated for four Tony Awards, including Best Revival.

In the literary world, Mr. Wilbur was best known as a poet, for which he received numerous honors including a National Book Award and two Pulitzer Prizes.

His Broadway credits as a translator include a number of French classics by Molière: Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, The School for Wives, The School for Husbands, and The Imaginary Cuckold.

Mr. Wilbur died at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts. He is survived by his children Christopher, Ellen, Nathan, and Aaron, as well as three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Charlotte, passed away in 2007.


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