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Playwright, actor and lyricist Edward Gallardo died Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed with his family. He was 70.
Gallardo was best known for the play Simpson Street, which followed a Hispanic family trying to escape a dead-end life in the South Bronx, where the writer was born. The play premiered in 1979 at New York’s Puerto Rican Traveling Theater and was performed throughout the U.S., Latin America and Europe.
Gallardo’s additional early theater credits include Bernie, which premiered at New York’s Theatre Ensemble in 1969 and went on to be produced in Paris and Amsterdam; Miss George Alliance, Rondelay, Cordelia, Waltz on a Merry-Go-Round and Mugging the Dinner Guest.
Most recently, Gallardo wrote the play Another Part of the City, which was produced at the Jersey Shore Art Center’s Rainbow Festival in 2016. Currently, his play Everybody Knows My Name is scheduled to be performed in South Florida in the fall of 2020.
Throughout his career, Gallardo received numerous awards including the Roberto Clemente Humanitarian Award, and in 1985 his play Women Without Men was the recipient of the New York Shakespeare Festival’s National Contest for Latino Plays.
In 1994, Gallardo wrote the libretto for the musical The Petrified Prince, which was directed by his longtime friend Harold Prince.
Also a familiar face on television, Gallardo appeared in many series in the 1970s including M.A.S.H., Charlie’s Angels, Hawaii Five-0, Serpico and Baretta. He performed in the theater productions of The Ceremony of Innocence and Big Apple Messenger.
Gallardo was born in the South Bronx in 1949 and began his career as an actor before moving into playwriting. Among his education and training, he received a BA in playwriting and screenwriting from the City College of New York in 1973.
Given that his late sister Silvana was married to actor Billy Drago, Gallardo and Drago were brothers-in-law. They died within the same week.
The playwright is survived by his domestic partner of 43 years, Bruce Taub.
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