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Obituary: Romulus Linney, playwright and father of actress Laura Linney

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Monday, January 17, 2011; 6:11 PM

Romulus Linney, 80, a prolific playwright whose work ranged from stories set in Appalachia to the Nuremberg trials, died Jan. 15 at his home in Germantown, N.Y. He had lung cancer.

Mr. Linney, father of actress Laura Linney, wrote more than 30 plays that covered a number of subjects.

Some of his works were set in Appalachia, which he was familiar with through his youth growing up in the South. Others were historical dramas, looking at moments in time such as the Nuremberg trials or the Vietnam War. He also drew inspiration from the lives of public figures including the poet Lord Byron and Frederick II, a king of Prussia.

Most of Mr. Linney's work appeared in regional theater and off-Broadway, with one play appearing in a Broadway theater.

He also taught at schools including Columbia and Princeton universities, Hunter College and The New School.

Romulus Zachariah Linney IV was born on Sept. 21, 1930, in Philadelphia and grew up throughout the South. His family lived in Boone, N.C., Madison, Tenn., and Washington.

He graduated in 1953 from Oberlin College in Ohio, spent two years in the Army and received a master's degree in fine arts from Yale University in 1958.

- Associated Press

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