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Eric Bentley Biography

 
Bio:
Eric Bentley was an influential theater critic who died at 103. He was also a member of the New York Theater Hall of Fame, recognizing his many years of cabaret performances. Beginning in 1953, he taught at Columbia University and was a theatre critic for The New Republic. He became known for his ... (read complete bio)
 

Bio:
Eric Bentley was an influential theater critic who died at 103. He was also a member of the New York Theater Hall of Fame, recognizing his many years of cabaret performances. Beginning in 1953, he taught at Columbia University and was a theatre critic for The New Republic. He became known for his ... (read complete bio)

Eric Bentley was an influential theater critic who died at 103. He was also a member of the New York Theater Hall of Fame, recognizing his many years of cabaret performances.



Beginning in 1953, he taught at Columbia University and was a theatre critic for The New Republic. He became known for his blunt style of theatre criticism, and was threatened with lawsuits from both Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller for his unfavorable reviews of their work. From 1960–1961, Bentley was the Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard University.



Bentley was one of the preeminent experts on Bertolt Brecht, whom he met at the University of California, Los Angeles as a young man and whose work he translated extensively. He edited the Grove Press issue of Brecht's work, and recorded two albums of Brecht's songs for Folkways Records, most of which had never before been recorded in English.



He won an Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre from the American Theatre Wing in 2006 and a Robert Chesley Award in 2007.