Acclaimed Playwright Mark Medoff Dies at 79
Tony Award-winner Mark Medoff passed away at the age of 79, after a long battle with cancer. He entered hospice care earlier this year after suffering a fall.
His daughter Jessica confirmed the news to the Las Cruces Sun News on Tuesday. He passed away surrounded by family, at the Mesilla Valley Hospice.
Medoff wrote more than 30 plays throughout his career and directed 19 films. He also received an Oscar nomination for his adaption of "Children of a Lesser God."
"He essentially discovered me [...] Wrote Clara’s Heart, championed me for the role. Without him, I’d be nowhere. RIP, Mark. Thank you. Sending love to his amazing family."
Mark Medoff, the brilliant mind behind the Tony Award winning play, “Children Of A Lesser God,” has passed at 79. He insisted and fought the studio that the role be played by a deaf actor; I would not be here as an Oscar winner if it weren’t for him. RIP Dear Mark. pic.twitter.com/wpIJJqW00x— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) April 24, 2019
In addition award-winning "West Wing" actor Marlee Matlin said Medoff "insisted and fought the studio that the role [in "Children of a Lesser God"] be played by a deaf actor."
She added, "I would not be here as an Oscar winner if it weren’t for him. RIP Dear Mark."
RIP to the greatness of the spirit of one of the greatest writers ever ..Mark Medoff❤️❤️#ChildrenOfALesserGod#gratitude— Kenny Leon (@iamKENNYLEON) April 24, 2019
Soshanna Stern, the creator of "This Close," said Medoff changed her life and inspired her to pursue "the path [she's] currently on." She said:
"Forever honored to have played Sarah for the 30th-anniversary revival of [Deaf West.] Rest in Peace."
Medoff is survived by his second wife, Stephanie Thorne – to whom he was married since 1972 – as well as their three daughters and eight grandchildren.