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Tad Mosel, 86; dramatist won Pulitzer in 1961

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Associated Press / August 27, 2008
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CONCORD, N.H. - Tad Mosel, television screenwriter and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama "All the Way Home," died Sunday at a hospice in Concord, N.H. He was 86.

Up until very recently, he wrote every day and finished a play about trying to reconnect with people from one's past, said longtime friend Ted Walch.

"In a great exchange with his doctor about three weeks ago, when Tad was very irritated that he hadn't yet died, that it was taking so long, the doctor said to him, 'Dying is harder than writing a play, and Tad responded, 'Not really,' " Walch said.

Mr. Mosel wrote television screenplays beginning in the late 1940s and into much of the '50s, a period often called the Golden Age of television. Among the shows he worked on were "Playhouse 90," "Studio One," and "Producers' Showcase."

In November 1960, "All the Way Home," Mr. Mosel's stage adaptation of James Agee's autobiographical novel "A Death in the Family," opened on Broadway to critical acclaim, running for more than 300 performances and winning the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for drama.

The production, directed by Arthur Penn, featured Colleen Dewhurst, Lillian Gish, and Arthur Hill. Set in 1915, it chronicled the struggles of a Tennessee family after the father is killed in an auto accident.

Mr. Mosel also wrote several movies, including "Dear Heart" (1964), starring Glenn Ford and Geraldine Page, and "Up the Down Staircase" (1967), based on the Bel Kaufman best seller about big-city schools.

Mr. Mosel had been living in a retirement home in Concord since 1991.

Mr. Mosel leaves a nephew.

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