Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh was a French dramatist whose career spanned five decades. As a child, Anouilh was fascinated by the stage, and he began writing plays at the age of twelve. Despite initial rejection and failure with his early plays, Anouilh was determined that he would pursue a life in the theater. He finally achieved popular success in 1937 with Le Voyageur sans bagages (Traveler without Luggage).
His work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, and Anouilh grouped his plays in several categories according to their predominant tone—-"pi'es" (plays) "roses" (pink), "noires" (black), "brillantes" (brilliant), "grinçantes" (jarring), "costumées" (costumed), and "baroques" (baroque). He championed illusion, fantasy, irony, and poetry as a fascinating means of exploring truths about the human condition.
Anouilh is probably best known for his 1944 play Antigone, an adaptation of Sophocles' classical drama, that was seen as an attack on Marshal Pétain's Vichy government. He died on October 3, 1987 in Lausanne, Switzerland.