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Playwright Henry Denker Passes Away at 99


According to published reports, Broadway playwright Henry Denker passed away on May 15 from lung cancer. He was 99 years old.

In 1947, Denker wrote the first script for the religious radio series The Greatest Story Ever Told, which, in its first year, won the Peabody Award, the Christopher Award, the CCNY Outstanding Program of the Year Award, the Variety Award of the Year 1947, and others. Denker was to write every script in the series, which ran from 1947 to 1957.

Later, on television, Denker wrote, and David Susskind produced, the first dramatic treatment of a heart transplant, “The Choice,” which anticipated the challenge of so many patients in need and so few hearts to give. With a cast including Melvyn Douglas, George Grizzard and Frank Langella, the TV drama included film of an actual surgery provided by Dr. Michael E. DeBakey. 

Six plays by Denker have been produced on Broadway and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., including: A Case of Libel, A Far Country,  Horowitz and Mrs. Washington, The Second Time Around, Something Old, Something New, Time Limit!, Venus at Large, What Did We Do Wrong?, and The Wound Within.

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