Jacinto Benavente y Martínez (August 12, 1866 – July 14, 1954) was one of the foremost Spanish dramatists of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1922.
Born in Madrid, the son of a celebrated pediatrician, he returned drama to reality by way of social criticism: declamatory verse giving way to prose, melodrama to comedy, formula to experience, impulsive action to dialogue and the play of minds. Benavente showed a preoccupation with aesthetics and later with ethics.
A liberal monarchist and a critic of Socialism, he was a reluctant supporter of the Franco regime as the only viable alternative to what he considered the disastrous republican experiment of 1931-1936. Benavente died in Aldeaencabo de Escalona (Toledo) at the age of 87. He never married. According to many sources, he was homosexual.