STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
Now let's hear the way another writer drew on his own life experience. This writer was Frank D. Gilroy, who has died at age 89. He was a young man from the Bronx who went off to World War II. He returned and became a busy playwright. He wrote more than 30 plays, and the most famous was called "The Subject Was Roses." It was the story of a young soldier returning home, as Gilroy once did. Though, it did not debut until almost two decades later.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)
FRANK D. GILROY: You reach a time - and I reached the time with that play - when fact and fiction blend seamlessly. If you do it too soon, it's journalism. If you do it too late, you forget it's fantasy. There's an optimum time.
INSKEEP: This was the optimum time for Frank Gilroy. His 1964 play won the biggest awards in theater, and it went on to become a movie. As both a play and a film, it was an early starring role for an actor who has been in the public eye for half a century now - Martin Sheen.
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