Tennessee Williams

Playwright, Screenwriter, Actor
As one of America's premier 20th century playwrights, Tennessee Williams restored poetry to the stage in the midst of a post-World War II surge of realism, sensitively peopling his plays with outsiders at odds with the ... Read more »
Born: 05/26/1911 in Columbus, Mississippi, USA


Writer (43)

The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond 2009 (Movie)


Tennessee Williams' The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Source Material

A Streetcar Named Desire From the San Francisco Opera 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

A Streetcar Named Desire 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

Suddenly Last Summer 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

27 Wagons Full of Cotton 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

Noir et blanc 1989 (Movie)

("Desire and the Black Masseur") (From Story)

The Glass Menagerie 1987 (Movie)

("The Glass Menagerie") (Play as Source Material)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

A Streetcar Named Desire 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)


Eccentricities of a Nightingale 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

Last of the Mobile Hot-Shots 1970 (Movie)

("The Seven Descents of Myrtle") (Play as Source Material)

Boom! 1968 (Movie)

("Man, Bring This Up Road") (From Story)

Boom! 1968 (Movie)

("The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore") (Play as Source Material)

Boom! 1968 (Movie)


Senso 1967 (Movie)

dialogue collaboration (Writer (dialogue))

The Glass Menagerie 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)


This Property Is Condemned 1966 (Movie)

("This Property Is Condemned") (Play as Source Material)

The Night of the Iguana 1964 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Period of Adjustment 1962 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Sweet Bird of Youth 1962 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Summer and Smoke 1961 (Movie)

("Summer and Smoke") (Play as Source Material)

The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone 1961 (Movie)

("The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone") (Play as Source Material)

The Fugitive Kind 1960 (Movie)

("Orpheus Descending") (Play as Source Material)

The Fugitive Kind 1960 (Movie)


Suddenly, Last Summer 1959 (Movie)

("Suddenly Last Summer") (Play as Source Material)

Suddenly, Last Summer 1959 (Movie)


Cat on a Hot Tin Roof 1958 (Movie)

("Cat on a Hot Tin Roof") (Play as Source Material)

Baby Doll 1956 (Movie)

from plays "27 Wagons Full of Cotton" "The Long Stay Cut Short"(("The Unsatisfactory Supper")) (Play as Source Material)

Baby Doll 1956 (Movie)


The Rose Tattoo 1955 (Movie)

("The Rose Tattoo") (Play as Source Material)

The Rose Tattoo 1955 (Movie)


A Streetcar Named Desire 1950 (Movie)

("A Streetcar Named Desire") (Play as Source Material)

A Streetcar Named Desire 1950 (Movie)


The Glass Menagerie 1950 (Movie)


The Glass Menagerie 1950 (Movie)

("The Glass Menagerie") (Play as Source Material)

Kraft Television Theater (TV Show)


Orpheus Descending (TV Show)

Play as Source Material

The Glass Menagerie (TV Show)


The Migrants (TV Show)

From Story

The Yellow Bird (TV Show)

Play as Source Material
Music (2)

Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Theme Lyrics

The Fugitive Kind 1960 (Movie)

lyrics("Blanket Roll Blues") (Theme Lyrics)
Actor (1)

Beautiful Darling 2011 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)


As one of America's premier 20th century playwrights, Tennessee Williams restored poetry to the stage in the midst of a post-World War II surge of realism, sensitively peopling his plays with outsiders at odds with the mob rule that passes for civilization, while also delving into the darker realms of human nature that reflected his own instability. After kicking around the South and putting on local productions, Williams made a major splash in the Big Apple with "The Glass Menagerie" (1945), which announced his arrival as promising Broadway talent. He cemented his place as a giant among men with "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1947), which earned him the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Both plays were made into Hollywood movies, though "Streetcar" was better remembered for Marlon Brando's exquisite performance as the brutish Stanley Kowalski. Williams earned a Tony Award for "The Rose Tattoo" (1951) and won his second Pulitzer for "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1955), which was turned into an acclaimed 1958 movie starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor. From there, his career hit a long downward skid, brought about by years of battling depression with alcohol and prescription drugs. Williams had a minor success with "The Night of the Iguana" (1961), which became a Richard Burton-Ava Gardner film in 1964, but by and large he slipped further into critical decline by this time. Regardless of his personal struggles, Williams remained one of America's most revered playwrights whose reputation only magnified in the years following his death.


Walter Dakin

Williams was extremely close to his grandfather, whom he tried to nurse through a series of ever-worsening illnesses Dakin's passing in 1955 left the playwright despondent and, in the opinion of many critics, led to a darkening of his work

Laura Dern Actor


Ethan Hawke Actor

Hawke's great grandfather and Williams' father were brothers

Diane Ladd Actor


Frank Merlo

died in 1963

Cornelius Williams

came from a prestigious Tennessee family which included the state's first governor and first senator

Edwina Williams

daughter of a minister model for character of Amanda Wingfield in "The Glass Menagerie"

Dakin Williams


Rose Williams

born in 1919 diagnosed as schizophrenic institutionalized in 1943 following a prefrontal lobotomy died on September 6, 1996 in Tarrytown, New York model for Laura in "The Glass Menagerie"


University of Iowa

Iowa City , Iowa 1938

Washington University

St Louis , Missouri 1936 - 1937

University of Missouri at St Louis

St Louis , Missouri 1929 - 1931



First performance of "Not About Nightingales" (directed by Trevor Nunn), a play written in 1938 and thus predating "The Glass Menagerie", at London's National Theatre; actress Vanessa Redgrave had discovered the manuscript; subsequently produced at Housto


Last NYC production, Off-Broadway's "Something Cloudy, Something Clear"


Last Broadway production, "Clothes for a Summer Hotel", about F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald


Published autobiography, "Memoirs"; though frank in discussing his homosexuality, book was disappointing in its lack of comment on his dramaturgy


Last stage success, the Off-Broadway premiere of "Small Craft Warnings", called by Variety: "Easily the best drama Off-Broadway this season"; made his stage acting debut when he took over one of the roles after the production had opened


Converted to Roman Catholicism


Received Tony nomination for "The Night of the Iguana", which debuted on Broadway in 1961


Wrote the screenplay for "The Fugitive Kind", based on his play "Orpheus Descending"; also credited for the lyrics of the song "Blanket Roll Blues"


Published first collection of poetry, "In the Winter of Cities"


Garnered a second Oscar nod for the screenplay of "Baby Doll", called by Time magazine "just possibly the dirtiest American picture ever legally exhibited"; the Catholic Legion of Decency condemned the film stating that it "dwells upon carnal sugge


"Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (directed by Kazan) opened on Broadway; would earn him a 1956 Tony nomination and a second Pulitzer


"Camino Real" closed after less than two months on Broadway, despite gathering an ardent core of admirers; Walter Kerr called it "the worst play yet by the best playwright of his generation"; containing arguably Williams' most gorgeous poetry for the Amer


Revival of "Summer and Smoke" by director Jose Quintero and starring Geraldine Page put Off-Broadway on the map


Earned Tony Award for "The Rose Tattoo", which made an overnight star of Maureen Stapleton and was later adapted to the screen by Williams in 1955, starring his original choice for the lead role, Anna Magnani


Received Oscar nomination for screenplay of "A Streetcar Named Desire", helmed by Kazan


Screenwriting debut with "The Glass Menagerie"


First published work of fiction, the novel "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone", adapted for the screen by Gavin Lambert in 1961


Returned to Broadway with "Summer and Smoke"; show flopped but was a hit Off-Broadway four years later; revised as "Eccentricities of a Nightingale" in 1965


Second Broadway success, "A Streetcar Named Desire", directed by Elia Kazan; earned first Pulitzer Prize in 1948; coaxed Kazan into accepting Marlon Brando for the role of Stanley after the young actor read for him at his Provincetown home in August (and


First Broadway production, "The Glass Menagerie" (starring Laurette Taylor as Amanda in a fabled comeback from alcoholic oblivion), vaulted him to the front ranks of American playwrights; also had a second play on Broadway that year, the rather tepidly-re


"The Glass Menagerie" enjoyed a successful run in Chicago; with no advance sale, the show had nearly closed, but agent Wood convinced the producers to remain open, citing good reviews


Spent some months working as a cinema usher, during which he saw "Casablanca" over and over


First New York production, a student presentation of "The Long Goodbye" at the New Theatre School


"Battle of Angels" produced in Boston; closed after a two-week tryout and excited more interest among the city's censors than in audiences; later revised as "Orpheus Descending", a 1957 Broadway failure; also revived as "Battle of Angels" Off-Broadway dur


Won a special award and $100 from the Group Theater (failed to win first prize) for "American Blues" (four one-act plays published in 1948); entry brought him to the attention of legendary literary agent Audrey Wood who would represent him until 1971; als


His one-act plays "Candles to the Sun" and "The Fugitive Kind" produced by Mummers of St Louis


First play, "Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay", produced in Memphis


Quit college at behest of father to begin work in the warehouse at the International Shoe Company in St Louis


Published "The Vengeance of Nitocris" in Weird Tales


At 16, won third prize and received $5 for an essay, "Can a Good Wife Be a Good Sport?", in Smart Set


Moved with family to St Louis, Missouri


Suffered from diphtheria and a kidney infection at the age of six (date approximate)

Secured a screenwriting job at MGM through Wood; assigned to a Lana Turner project, "Marriage Is a Private Affair"; instead spent time developing what would become "The Glass Menagerie"; MGM rejected the script (called "The Gentleman Caller") based on his

Family lived for several years in Clarksdale, Mississippi