Peter Shaffer, Oscar-Winning Playwright of ‘Equus’ and ‘Amadeus,’ Dies at 90

Film version of “Amadeus” won eight Academy Awards

Last Updated: June 6, 2016 @ 10:38 AM

Peter Shaffer, the Oscar-winning playwright whose work included the award-winning drams “Amadeus” and “Equus,” died Monday, the Associated Press reported. He was 90.

According to Shaffer’s agent Rupert Lord, Shaffer died while visiting friends and family in southwest Ireland.

Rufus Norris, the artistic director of the National Theatre, which is reviving “Amadeus” in the fall, called Shaffer “one of the great writers of his generation,” adding, “The plays he leaves behind are an enduring legacy.”

Shaffer, who was born in Liverpool in 1926, scored his first hit with 1964’s “The Royal Hunt of the Sun.”

“Equus,” the story of a troubled young man’s psychological fixation on horses, premiered in 1973, and was adapted for film in 1977 — for which Shaffer earned an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay.

“Harry Potter” actor Daniel Radcliffe starred in a London stage revival of the play in 2007, marking his stage debut, and later performed the show on Broadway.

“Amadeus,” which explored the rivalry between composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, debuted in 1979 and scored five Tony Awards during its run on Broadway. A 1984 film adaptation was also a critical success, winning eight Academy Awards, including one for Shaffer’s adapted screenplay.

Shaffer, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001, was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.

He is survived by his brother Brian, nephews Milo and Mark, and nieces Cressida and Claudia.

Shaffer’s twin brother, Anthony Shaffer, was also a playwright and screenwriter whose credits included “Sleuth” and “The Wicker Man.” He died in 2001.