Tennessee Williams

Playwright, Author

1911 – 1983

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Who was Tennessee Williams?

Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III was an American playwright, author of many stage classics.

After years of obscurity, he became suddenly famous with The Glass Menagerie, closely reflecting his own unhappy family background. This heralded a string of successes, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, and Sweet Bird of Youth. His later work attempted a new style that did not appeal to audiences, and alcohol and drug dependence further inhibited his creative output.

Williams adapted much of his best work for the cinema, and also wrote short stories, poetry, essays and a volume of memoirs.

Famous Quotes:

  • A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.
  • Success and failure are equally disastrous.
  • Everyone says he's sincere, but everyone isn't sincere. If everyone was sincere who says he's sincere there wouldn't be half so many insincere ones in the world and there would be lots, lots, lots more really sincere ones!
  • In memory everything seems to happen to music.
  • When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.
  • Time rushes toward us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.
  • You've got many refinements. I don't think you need to worry about your failure at long division. I mean, after all, you got through short division, and short division is all that a lady ought to be called on to cope with.
  • We have to distrust each other. It is our only defense against betrayal.
  • Bohemia has no banner. It survives by discretion.
  • Luxury is the wolf at the door and its fangs are the vanities and conceits germinated by success. When an artist learns this, he knows where the danger is.

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Mar 26, 1911
Also known as
  • Thomas Lanier Williams III
  • Thomas Lanier Williams
  • Tennessee
  • Tennessee Williams' "Sweet Bird of Youth"
  • Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams III
  • Catholicism
  • Welsh American
  • United States of America
  • University of Missouri–Columbia
  • The New School
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • University of Iowa
Lived in
  • St. Louis
  • Clarksdale
  • Columbus
  • Mississippi
  • New Orleans
Feb 25, 1983
New York City
Resting place
Calvary Cemetery

on July 23, 2013


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"Tennessee Williams." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Nov. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/tennessee_williams>.

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