Playwright Wendy Wasserstein dies at 55

Playwright Wendy Wasserstein, who celebrated women confronting feminism, careers, love and motherhood in such works as "The Heidi Chronicles" and "The Sisters Rosensweig," died Monday. She was 55. Wasserstein, who had been battling cancer in recent months, died at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Andre Bishop, head of Lincoln Center Theater and Wasserstein's close friend and mentor, said the cause of death was lymphoma. "She was an extraordinary human being whose work and whose life were extremely intertwined," Bishop said. "She was not unlike the heroines of most of her plays - a strong-minded, independent, serious good person." Wasserstein's writing was known for its sharp, often wry observations about what women had to do to succeed in a world dominated by men. Born Oct. 18, 1950, Wasserstein, the youngest of four children, grew up first in Brooklyn in what she has called, "a nice, middle-class Jewish family," and later in Manhattan. Her father, Morris, was a textile executive.