Monday 23 September 2019

Actor and film-maker Peter Masterson dies, aged 84

Peter Masterson’s credits included co-writing musical The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (D Fahleson/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Peter Masterson’s credits included co-writing musical The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas (D Fahleson/Houston Chronicle via AP)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Peter Masterson, the playwright, filmmaker and actor whose credits included co-writing the Tony-winning musical The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, has died aged 84.

Masterson's son, also called Peter, said his father died on Tuesday from complications from Parkinson's disease at his home in Kinderhook, New York.

Born Carlos Masterson, but known as Peter because his father preferred that name, Masterson often worked with family members.

His cousin was the-Texas born playwright Horton Foote, who wrote the stage version of The Trip to Bountiful, the lyrical story of an elderly woman in Houston who longs to return to her home community.

Geraldine Page won an Oscar for her starring performance in the 1985 film, which also featured Rebecca De Mornay and John Heard.

Masterson earlier had success in the theatre as one of the creators of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, inspired by the real-life Chicken Ranch brothel.

The story began as a 1974 Playboy article by Larry L. King and was expanded into a musical after a dinner party conversation among Masterson, King and songwriter Carol Hall, who died last autumn.

Although described by The New York Times as "an erratic and ambling, if sleekly produced, business", the play ran for more than three years on Broadway after opening in 1978.

Masterson received Tony nominations for direction and choreography, while his wife, Carlin Glynn, won a best actress Tony.

A 1982 film adaptation starring Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton was a box office success but also a troubled production.

Masterson was supposed to help direct and write the movie but Universal replaced him with Colin Higgins.

Meanwhile, Reynolds and Parton reportedly did not get along, with Parton later calling the film a "nightmare".

Masterson also worked with his daughter, Mary Stuart Masterson, known for such movies as Fried Green Tomatoes.

She made her debut in The Stepford Wives, the 1975 film version of Ira Levin's novel about the extreme submissiveness of women in a Connecticut suburb.

Peter Masterson and Katharine Ross starred as newly arrived residents of Stepford, with Mary Stuart Masterson playing one of their two children.

His other acting credits included In the Heat of the Night, The Exorcist and Gardens of Stone.

Masterson also directed including Convicts, starring Robert Duvall.

PA Media

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