West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933
Volume 77, Number 11 | August 15 - 25, 2007

Obituary

Harold Callen, playwright for TV and theater and also teacher, 93

Harold Callen, a teacher and playwright for television and theater who won the John Van Druten Playwright Award in 1964, died Aug. 1 at his home in the Village at the age of 93.

Born in Harlem, the son of William and Muriel Callen, he went to elementary and high school in Manhattan and served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

During the first decade of broadcast television he wrote episodes for the series “I Led Three Lives,” and was the author of several plays in the NBC series Matinee Theater, including “The Ransom of Sigmund Freud.” For the Hallmark Hall of Fame series he wrote a dozen plays in 1952 and 1953.

He was married in 1960 and moved to the Village with his wife, Anna Teresa Callen, a native of Abruzzo, Italy, who survives. She is a food writer and runs a school of Italian cooking in the Village.

His play “The Bashful Genius,” about George Bernard Shaw, was produced in Nottingham, England, in Germany and in New York in 1964 and won the John Van Druten Playwright Award.

Callen also wrote “Panda Monium,” a play about a panda that was produced in New York and in Europe in the 1970s. His play “Next Door to Heaven” was produced in the 1970s in Los Angeles.

He taught at the New School for many years and also taught courses at New York University. The funeral was private.


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