'Paul Robeson' playwright Phillip Hayes Dean dies

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on April 16, 2014 at 7:04 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 16 at 7:05 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Phillip Hayes Dean, a playwright, director and theater actor who wrote the play "Paul Robeson" that starred James Earl Jones on Broadway in 1978, has died in Los Angeles. He was 83.

A family spokesman said Wednesday that Dean died Monday of a heart condition.

His plays included "The Last American Dixieland Band," ''Moloch Blues, "The Owl Killer and Dink's Blues" and "The Sty of the Blind Pig." Dean taught acting and playwriting at the University of Michigan.

His most famous play is "Paul Robeson," a chronicle of the singer, actor and activist, which has had three Broadway productions and has toured across the U.S. and Europe. He appeared on Broadway in "Wisteria Trees" in 1955 and was a stage manager for a version of "Waiting for Godot" in 1957.

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