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Lloyd Richards
Lloyd George Richards

(1919-06-29)June 29, 1919
DiedJune 29, 2006(2006-06-29) (aged 87)
New York City, U.S.
Occupation(s)Theatre director, actor
Years active1947–1999
SpouseBarbara Davenport (1958-2006)
AwardsTony Award Best Direction of a Play
1987 Fences
Regional Theatre Tony Award
1991 Yale Repertory Theatre
Drama Desk Outstanding New Play
1987 Fences
1990 The Piano Lesson
National Medal of Arts
1993 Lifetime Achievement

Lloyd George Richards (June 29, 1919 – June 29, 2006) was a Canadian-American theatre director, actor, and dean of the Yale School of Drama from 1979 to 1991, and Yale University professor emeritus.


Richards was born in Toronto, Ontario, but was raised in Detroit, Michigan. His father, a Jamaican carpenter turned auto-industry worker, died when Richards was nine years old. Soon after, his mother lost her eyesight, he and his brother Allan kept the family together. He later went on to study law at Wayne State University where instead he found his way in theatrical arts after a brief break during World War II while serving in the U.S. Army Air Force.[citation needed]

Among Richards' accomplishments are his staging the original production of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, debuting on Broadway to standing ovations on 11 March 1959, and in 1984 he introduced August Wilson to Broadway in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.[citation needed]

As head of the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, he helped develop the careers of August Wilson, Wendy Wasserstein, Christopher Durang, Lee Blessing and David Henry Hwang.[citation needed]

Richards was Dean of Yale School of Drama and Artistic Director of Yale Repertory Theatre, both in New Haven, Connecticut, from 1979 to 1991; he became Professor Emeritus at Yale School of Drama after his retirement.[1]

Richards died of heart failure on his eighty-seventh birthday in New York City.[citation needed]

Richards also taught Moscow Art Theatre acting technique under Paul Mann at the Actor's Workshop in New York alongside Morris Carnovsky.[citation needed]

Awards and nominations



  1. ^ "Lloyd Richards, Tony-Winning Director Who Helped Give August Wilson a Voice, Is Dead | Playbill". Playbill. Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  2. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  3. ^ Novotny, Jean (June 27, 1987). "Top guns: Academy salutes world-changers" (PDF). The Arizona Republic.