Charles Ludlam was born on April 12, 1943, and raised in Northport, L.I. In 1964 he graduated from Hofstra University, where he majored in dramatic literature. Before founding his own theater company in 1967, Ludlam worked with John Vaccaro’s Playhouse of the Ridiculous. Shortly after, Ludlam rose to prominence as one of the most prolific and flamboyant artists in avant-garde theater. A versatile actor who explored more than just the alternative sphere of the stage, he played the title role in the 1984 American Ibsen Theater production of ‘’Hedda Gabler’’ in Pittsburgh, in addition to staging the American premiere of “The English Cat” in August 1985 for the Santa Fe Opera. During his short-lived yet prolific career, he won fellowships from the Guggenheim, Rockefeller and Ford foundations and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. Ludlam was a highly regarded teacher, teaching and staging productions at New York University, Connecticut College for Women, Yale University and Carnegie-Mellon University. In 1986, he won the Rosamund Gilder Award for distinguished achievement in the theater; in 1987, Ludlam received his fourth Village Voice Obie award, also for distinguished achievement. He died on May 29, 1987, after knowing for just two or three months that he was suffering from AIDS. He was 44.
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