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Israel Horovitz, Playwright Accused of Sexual Abuse, Passes Away at 81

His wife Gillian confirmed his passing, citing cancer as the cause of death.

Israel Horovitz, Playwright Accused of Sexual Abuse, Passes Away at 81

Playwright Israel Horovitz has passed away at the age of 81. His wife Gillian confirmed his passing citing cancer as the cause of death.

Horovitz was the author of more than 70 produced plays, among them Line, Park Your Car in Harvard Yard, The Primary English Class, The Widow's Blind Date, What Strong Fences Make, and The Indian Wants the Bronx, for which he won the Obie Award for Best Play.

He also founded The New York Playwrights Lab in 1975. His work Out of the Mouths of Babes ran Off-Broadway in 2016.

In 2017, nine women came forward with stories of alleged inappropriate advances, sexual assault, and even rape enacted by the playwright, some of which occurred when they were just teenagers.

Horovitz said of the allegations that while he has "a different memory of some of these events, I apologize with all my heart to any woman who has ever felt compromised by my actions, and to my family and friends who have put their trust in me. To hear that I have caused pain is profoundly upsetting, as is the idea that I might have crossed a line with anyone who considered me a mentor."

In 1993, The Boston Phoenix published an exposé in which 10 women accused him of sexual harassment and assault. Barry Weiner, at the time the board president of Gloucester Stage - where Horovitz served as founding artistic director - disregarded the allegations.

Following the 2017 accusations, Horovitz resigned from his post as founding artistic director of Gloucester Stage, a post he held for 28 years.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride

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