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William Luce (October 16, 1931) is a writer, primarily for the stage and television. He has written several plays which starred Julie Harris, and specializes in writing one-person plays.

William Luce
Born (1931-10-16) October 16, 1931 (age 88)
Portland, Oregon, United States
OccupationPlaywright, television writer
GenresTheater, television


Luce was born in Portland, Oregon and majored in piano at college.[1]


"Playwright William Luce picks his leading characters carefully, because they're usually the only ones in his shows."[1] Luce wrote the one-person play, The Belle of Amherst, which premiered on Broadway in 1976, starring Julie Harris as Emily Dickinson, among others, and directed by Charles Nelson Reilly. Harris also appeared in this play in regional theatre.[2] The play was taped and broadcast on television in 1976. His play about Charlotte Brontë, Bronte, starring Julie Harris and directed by Charles Nelson Reilly, was initially filmed in 1982 in Ireland, after several stage performances, and televised on Public Television in 1985. Harris subsequently performed the play in regional US theatre.[3]

His play Zelda, about Zelda Fitzgerald, premiered Off-Broadway in 1984 and starred Olga Bellin.[4] Luce turned this play into The Last Flapper, which was performed in regional US theatres initially in 1987 by Piper Laurie, directed by Charles Nelson Reilly.[5][6]

He wrote the play, Lillian, about Lillian Hellman which ran on Broadway in 1986 and starred Zoe Caldwell.[7] His play, Lucifer's Child, based on the writings of Karen Blixen (aka Isak Dinesen), appeared on Broadway in 1991 and starred Julie Harris.[8] He wrote the play Barrymore, which premiered on Broadway in 1997 and starred Christopher Plummer as John Barrymore.[9]


Luce wrote the libretto for the opera Gabriel's Daughter, with music by Henry Mollicone which premiered in 2003 at the Central City Opera House, Central City, Colorado.[10][11]


Luce wrote the screenplays for two television movies, both telecast on CBS. The Last Days of Patton (1986) starred George C. Scott and Eva Marie Saint; The Woman He Loved (1988) starred Jane Seymour, Anthony Andrews and Julie Harris.[12]


  1. ^ a b Ouzounian, Richard."Solos are William Luce's specialty" The Star (Toronto), December 17, 2010
  2. ^ Hayter-Menzies, Grant."'The Belle of Amherst', a review, Seattle", November 2000
  3. ^ Loynd, Ray."Stage Review : Delicate Harris Touch At Work In 'Bronte'" Los Angeles Times, February 10, 1987
  4. ^ "Theater:'Zelad' by William Luce" The New York Times, October 24, 1984
  5. ^ Vaughan, Peter."Piper Laurie Is Doing 1-Woman Stage Show Besides `Twin Peaks'" (from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune), July 21, 1990
  6. ^ Luce, William.The Last Flapper The Last Flapper (1990), Samuel French, Inc., ISBN 0-573-69168-1
  7. ^ Rich, Frank."The Stage: Zoe Caldwell As Hellman In 'Lillian'" The New York Times, January 17, 1986
  8. ^ Rich, Frank."Review/Theater; Genteel Vehicle For Julie Harris" The New York Times, April 5, 1991
  9. ^ Luce, William."'Barrymore'" Barrymore: a play (1998), Samuel French, Inc., ISBN 0-573-64240-0
  10. ^ Taufen, Amber."'Gabriel's Daughter'", July 31, 2003
  11. ^ "'Gabriel's Daughter' production, plot and reviews", accessed October 31, 2011
  12. ^ O'Connor, John J."Review/Television; The Halls of Britain vs. the Streets of New York" The New York Times (webcache), April 1, 1988

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