Mart Crowley

Edward Martino Crowley (August 21, 1935 – March 7, 2020) was an American playwright who was best known for his play The Boys in the Band.[2][3][4]

Mart Crowley
Mart Crowley on the set of The Men from the Boys
Mart Crowley on the set of The Men from the Boys
BornEdward Martino Crowley[1]
(1935-08-21)August 21, 1935
Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.
DiedMarch 7, 2020(2020-03-07) (aged 84)
Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
OccupationPlaywright, writer
GenreDrama, comedy
Notable worksThe Boys In The Band


Crowley was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. After graduating from The Catholic University of America (studying acting and show business) in Washington, D.C. in 1957, Crowley headed west to Hollywood, where he worked for a number of television production companies before meeting Natalie Wood on the set of her film Splendor in the Grass.[5] Wood hired him as her assistant, primarily to give him ample free time to work on his gay-themed play The Boys in the Band,[6][7] which opened off-Broadway on April 14, 1968 and enjoyed a run of 1,000 performances. Crowley became part of Wood's inner circle of friends that she called "the nucleus", whose main requirement was that they pass a "kindness" test.

The Boys in the Band was adapted into a film in 1970 directed by William Friedkin.[8]

Crowley's sequel to The Boys in the Band was entitled The Men from the Boys.[9]

In 2018 "Boys in the Band" was restaged on Broadway in a 50th anniversary revival featuring Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, and Andrew Rannells.[10]

Crowley also wrote and produced Remote Asylum and the autobiographical A Breeze from the Gulf.

In 1979 and 1980, Crowley served first as the executive script editor and then producer of the ABC series Hart to Hart, starring Wood's husband Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. His other credits include the teleplays for There Must Be a Pony (1986), Bluegrass (1988), People Like Us (1990), and a reunion special of Hart to Hart in 1996.

Crowley appeared in at least three documentaries: The Celluloid Closet (1995), about the depiction of homosexuality in cinema; Dominick Dunne: After the Party (2007), a biography of Crowley's friend and producer Dominick Dunne; and Making the Boys (2011), a documentary about the making of The Boys in the Band.

Crowley was openly gay.

Crowley died in Manhattan, New York on March 7, 2020.[11][1] He suffered a heart attack, after which he underwent open-heart surgery and died while recovering.[12]


  1. ^ a b Genzlinger, Neil (March 9, 2020). "Mart Crowley, 'Boys in the Band' Playwright, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  2. ^ Talbot, Mary. "How One Man's 'Band' Changed Theater on Revival's Eve: Theater Folk Recall That Mart Crowley and his 'Boys' Put Gays in Spotlight." New York Daily News June 19, 1996. Web. May 25, 2012.
  3. ^ Roca, Octavia. "'Boys' to 'Men': Mart Crowley's latest play takes 'Boys in the Band' through the past 30 years." San Francisco Chronicle October 26, 2002. Web. May 25, 2012.
  4. ^ Kinser, Jeffrey. "Mart Crowley on His Friend Natalie Wood." The Advocate November 23, 2011. Web. May 25, 2012 [1].
  5. ^ Wagner, Robert J. Pieces of My Heart. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. 138. Google Books. Web. May 25, 2012.
  6. ^ Dunlap, David W. THEATER: In a Revival, Echoes of a Gay War of Words." The New York Daily News June 9, 1996. Web. May 25, 2012.
  7. ^ Journey to an Overlooked Past - The New York Times - June 11, 2000
  8. ^ Canby, Vincent (March 18, 1970). "The Boys in the Band (1970) review". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  9. ^ Roca 2002, p. 1.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Meyer, Dan (March 9, 2020). "'The Boys in the Band' Playwright Mart Crowley Dies at 84". Playbill. Retrieved March 9, 2020.
  12. ^ "Playwright Mart Crowley, Best Known For THE BOYS IN THE BAND, Has Died at 84". Broadway World. March 8, 2020. Retrieved March 8, 2020.

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