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Acclaimed British theater director Howard Davies has died at age 71

Associated Press logo Associated Press 10/26/2016
FILE - This March 13, 2011 file photo shows British director Howard Davies at the Olivier Awards in London. Award-winning British theater director Howard Davies has died at the age of 71.His family said in a statement Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 that Davies died of cancer Tuesday. He was active for many years in both London and New York, directing a series of well-received plays. In Britain he won the coveted Best Director Laurence Olivier Awards three times for his work on “The Iceman Cometh,” “All My Sons” and “The White Guard.” (Ian West/PA via AP, file) © The Associated Press FILE - This March 13, 2011 file photo shows British director Howard Davies at the Olivier Awards in London. Award-winning British theater director Howard Davies has died at the age of 71.His family said in a statement Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016 that Davies died of cancer Tuesday. He was active for many years in both London and New York, directing a series of well-received plays. In Britain he won the coveted Best Director Laurence Olivier Awards three times for his work on “The Iceman Cometh,” “All My Sons” and “The White Guard.” (Ian West/PA via AP, file)

LONDON (AP) — Award-winning British theater director Howard Davies, whose plays were celebrated in London's West End and on Broadway in New York, has died. He was 71.

His family said in a statement Wednesday that Davies died of cancer Tuesday.

In Britain he won the coveted Best Director Laurence Olivier Awards three times for his work on "The Iceman Cometh," ''All My Sons" and "The White Guard." He was nominated three times for prestigious Tony Awards for his work on Broadway.

A National Theatre statement calls him "one of the very greatest" directors of his generation. He directed a remarkable 36 productions at the National Theatre, beginning with Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in 1988.

National Theatre director Rufus Norris said Davies had achieved "almost legendary status" in show business, particularly for his work on American, Russian and Irish plays.

"His reputation among actors, writers, directors and designers alike was beyond question, and has been for so long that his name has become a byword for quality and depth," said Norris.

While most of his work was well-received, Davies told the Guardian in 2010 that his major regret was working on a revival of "My Fair Lady" on Broadway.

He said he took on the project for the money and that the resulting production was "horrible from beginning to end."

Davies was born in Durham in northeast England and worked at theaters in Bristol and Birmingham early in his career.

He is survived by his wife, actress Clare Holman. This Oct. 14, 2011 file photo shows actress Debbie Reynolds posing for a portrait in New York. In Memoriam 2016

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