Anderson, who has been
described as the "dramatist of loneliness," is one of
playwrights to chronicle mid-century American life. Anderson was born
in New York City in 1917 and received undergraduate and graduate
degrees from Harvard University, where he began writing for the stage.
His plays have been produced professionally and in community and
college theatres all over the world.
Anderson’s most famous plays include Tea and Sympathy (1953), Silent Night, Lonely Night (1959), You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running (1967) and I Never Sang for My Father (1968). Other plays include Come Marching Home (1945), Eden Rose (1948), Love Revisited (1950), All Summer Long (1954), Solitaire/ Double Solitaire (1971), The Days Between (1975), and Free and Clear (1983).
Anderson has also written extensively for motion pictures, radio, and television. His film credits include Tea and Sympathy (1956); Until they Sail (1957), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay; Sand Pebbles (1966); The Num's Story, which received an Academy Award nomination; and I Never Sang for My Father which received an Academy Award nomination and was the winner of the Writers’ Guild of America Award (1970).
In 1980 Anderson was nominated for the Writer’s Guild Award for his television drama, The Patricia Neal Story, and was elected to The Theatre Hall of Fame. In 1985 he was awarded the William Inge Award. The Kissing Was Always the Best is one of his most recent plays, and I Never Sang for My Father enjoyed a successful revival in 1987 and 1988. In 1991 two of Anderson’s works were shown on television: The Last Act Is A Solo, which won an Ace Award, and Absolute Strangers. He is the author of two novels, After and Getting Up and Going Home.
Anderson previously served as president of the Dramatists Guild and is as of this writing (2006) on the Dramatists Guild Council. As a novelist, Anderson was vice-president of the Authors League of America.
The author recalls his days immediately following World War Two as a struggling young radio writer in New York.