Tennessee Williams


  • Birth name
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Thomas Lanier Williams
  • 1911-03-26
  • Columbus, Mississippi, USA
  • 1983-02-25
  • New York City, New York, USA
  • after choking on a bottle cap



Tennessee Williams met long-term partner Frank Merlo in the summer of 1948 (Merlo died of lung cancer in the fall of 1963). Though separated briefly in 1961 and again in 1962, the two were partners for 15 years. Merlo acted as his personal manager/secretary.

Williams spent much of his most prolific years in Rome, Italy, and his enduring friendship with Italian stage and screen legend Anna Magnani lasted 24 years and inspired both "The Rose Tattoo" and "Orpheus Descending". Magnani realized the lead parts of these two plays, which were written for her, in their film versions. The turbulent and inspirational friendship shared between Williams and Magnani is the subject of the internationally acclaimed play "Roman Nights" by Franco D'Alessandro.

Aside from his published "Memoirs", the only authorized biographical book on Williams is by Bruce Smith, entitled "Costly Performances - Tennessee Williams; The Last Stage." This book deals with the last four years of Williams' life (1979-1983).