Leo Brady, 67, a professor of playwriting and directing in the drama department at Catholic University and an author and director in his own right, died of cancer Nov. 18 at his home in Chevy Chase.
A member of the faculty at Catholic University from 1946 until he retired because of poor health in August, Mr. Brady was the author of three novels, a half-dozen plays and several adaptations of plays and novels that were produced on stage and on television.
Since 1953 he had directed more than 50 plays at the Olney Theatre, including works by Shaw, Chekhov, Feydeau, Shakespeare, T.S. Eliot and the mystery plays of Agatha Christie. In 1971 at the Hartke Theatre of Catholic University, Mr. Brady directed Helen Hayes in her final performance on stage in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night."
Mr. Brady's first novel, "The Edge of Doom," was published in 1949 when he was 32. It was a story of a young man who murders a Catholic priest, experiences the death of his mother, and struggles to come to terms with his religious beliefs. "I tried to write the kind of novel which I like to read," was the way Mr. Brady described it.
Samuel Goldwyn paid him $125,000 for the film rights to the book, and it was made into a movie starring Farley Granger and Dana Andrews, but the picture was unsuccessful.
Born in Wheeling, W.Va., Mr. Brady moved to Washington with his family when he was 14. After graduating from the old St. Paul's Academy, he worked as a grocery store clerk here while writing plays in his spare time.
The Rev. Gilbert Hartke of the Catholic University drama department became impressed with his talent after reading an adaptation of a short story in Collier's Magazine, "Brother Orchid," that Mr. Brady had written and he arranged a scholarship at Catholic University for him.
Mr. Brady earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Catholic. When he was an undergraduate he collaborated with Walter Kerr, former drama critic of The New York Times, in writing three musicals. Kerr was a member of the Catholic University faculty until 1950. From 1942 to 1946 Mr. Brady was a radio writer and producer in the Army Recruiting Service.
On the faculty at Catholic University after the war, Mr. Brady wrote several plays that were unsuccessful before completing his novel, "The Edge of Doom." Although he wrote two other novels, "Signs and Wonders" in 1953 and "The Quiet Gun" in 1971, he always said playwriting was his primary interest.
He wrote "The Bum's Rush," which was produced at Olney Theatre in 1964, and two plays for television, "Break of Day" and "The Cage." An adaptation by Mr. Brady of Dostoevski's "Crime and Punishment" was produced at the Olney Theatre in 1974. Mr. Brady also did an adaptation of the Oresteian trilogy for television.
Mr. Brady is survived by his wife, Eleanor, of Chevy Chase; eight children, Brigid Witkowski of New York City, Monica Wells of Bethesda, Peter, of Greenbelt, Martin, of Chicago, and Ann, Elizabeth, Daniel and John Stephen, all of Chevy Chase; a brother, James, of Upper Marlboro; two sisters, Adah May Brady of Greenbelt, and Nancy Collins of Springfield and four grandchildren.