Wendy Wasserstein remembered by friends

March 14, 2006 at 5:38 PM

NEW YORK, March 14 (UPI) -- Top performers of stage and screen turned out in New York to remember award-winning playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who died of cancer at age 55.

The tribute for the Brooklyn-born Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner was conducted Monday at Lincoln Center's Beaumont Theater and beamed via closed circuit TV to the Juilliard School, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

Meryl Streep, Christine Lahti, Cynthia Nixon, Charlie Rose, Robert Klein, Joan Allen, Swoosie Kurtz, Linda Lavin and Terrence McNally were among the hundreds paying their respects to the author of 23 plays, four books, nine films, two operas and a ballet, the newspaper said.

Artists read scenes from Wasserstein's works including "Uncommon Women and Others," "An American Daughter" and "The Heidi Chronicles."

Lincoln Center Artistic Director Andre Bishop recalled his longtime friend asking him near the end of her life why she had been stricken with incurable cancer.

"I said absolutely nothing," he told the hundreds assembled. "I could have said -- I should have said -- 'Wendy, you are the finest person I know.'"

Wasserstein was survived by a 6-year-old daughter.

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