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Director Marion McClinton Has Died at 65

Director Marion McClinton Has Died at 65

Acclaimed director Marion McClinton, best known for bringing the works of August Wilson to the Broadway stage, has died at age 65, according to StarTribune. He died on Thanksgiving morning, November 28, at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, after suffering from kidney disease.

McClinton began as an actor, his first credit being in The River Niger at Theatre in the Round in 1976.

He then went on to become a director, helming three Broadway shows, including August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and King Hedley II (which earned him a Tony nomination), as well as Regina Taylor's Drowning Crow.

In 1981, McClinton played the narrator in August Wilson's first professionally produced work, Black Bart and the Sacred Hills, at Penumbra. Wilson then chose McClinton as his director of choice. The pair worked together for 15 years, on plays such as The Piano Lesson, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, King Hedley II, and Fences. They brought shows to the stage in Los Angeles, Kansas City, Baltimore and Boston before landing in New York, on Broadway and off.

McClinton received an Obie Awards for his revised production of Jitney, which then went on to win an Olivier for its West End run.

McClinton also staged plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Lynn Nottage, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Cori Thomas, and Marcus Gardley.

He has worked with many talented stars, including Viola Davis, who performed in Hedley when she was not yet well known. The performance earned her her first Tony Award. McClinton also worked with the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Charles Dutton and Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Read more on StarTribune.

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