British theatre, film director Peter Brook dies at age 97

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FILE – British theater director Peter Brook poses with his wife Natasha after being awarded the Paris Grand Vermeil Medal, at a reception at City Hall Tuesday, January 25, 2011. Brook, a British theater director known for being an influential and distinguished career that brought him worldwide fame has passed away. He was 97. The two-time Tony Award winner, who had settled in France since the 1970s, also directed the film adaptations of his best stage works and the 1963 release of ‘Lord of the Flies’. (AP Foto/Jacques Brinon, File)

AP

Peter Brook, a British theater and film director known for an influential and distinguished career that brought him worldwide fame, has passed away. He was 97.

Settlement in France decades ago, the two-time Tony Award winner directed the film adaptations of his best stage works and the 1963 film ‘Lord of the Flies’.

Brooks publisher Nick Hern Books said in a statement Sunday that he leaves behind “an incredible artistic legacy”.

Born in London in 1925, Brook attended Oxford University and directed his first London show ‘Doctor Faustus’ when he was a teenager.

After serving as a director of productions at the Royal Opera House, he gained further fame for his work for the Royal Shakespeare Company, or RSC, including “Titus Andronicus” starring Laurence Olivier.

He was a Tony Award winner for Best Direction in 1966 for his portrayal of Peter Weiss’ ‘Marat/Sade’ and in 1970 for the production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Brook was also the recipient of an Olivier Award, an Emmy, and an international Emmy during his seven-decade career.

After settling in Paris in the 1970s, the director founded the International Center for Theater Research, for which he would revive the dilapidated Bouffes du Nord theater in the French capital.

Through worldwide recognition, he has also been honored with art awards, including Japan’s Praemium Imperiale, Italy’s Prix Italia and most recently Spain’s Princess of Asturias in 2019.

British actor Adrian Lester, who worked with Brook on RSC productions of Hamlet, tweeted that he had been “a giant in our field”.

Brook was married to actress Natasha Parry from 1951 before she died of a stroke in 2015. They leave behind two children, Irina and Simon, who are both directors.

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