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Tony-Nominated Director Nicholas Martin Dies at 75

Martin's most recent stage triumph was Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Nicholas Martin, seen here at the Broadway opening of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, has died at the age of 75.
(© David Gordon)

Nicholas Martin, the Tony-nominated director known for his deft work at bringing zany comedies to life onstage, has died, according to Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, where he formerly served as artistic director. It is believed that Martin, who received his Tony nod in 2013 for his work on Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, had been battling cancer. He was 75.

As a director, Martin also helmed productions of Present Laughter (with Victor Garber), Butley (with Nathan Lane), Match (with Frank Langella), and Hedda Gabler (with Kate Burton) on Broadway. Born in Brooklyn in 1938, he began his career as an actor, appearing in Broadway revivals of The School for Scandal, Exit the King, and The Man Who Came to Dinner.

Serving as the artistic director of the Huntington from 2000 through 2008, Martin directed plays ranging from Bus Stop to Present Laughter to Love's Labour's Lost. He received IRNE Awards for his productions of The Sisters Rosensweig, The Rivals, and Sonia Flew, and an Elliot Norton Award for his work on Betty's Summer Vacation, written by frequent collaborator Christopher Durang. From 2008-2010, Martin served as the artistic director of Williamstown Theatre Festival, where he helmed productions including She Loves Me, Where's Charley?, and The Royal Family, among others.

In 2008, Martin suffered a minor stroke while directing the Lincoln Center Theater production of Saturn Returns. It didn't stop him from getting back to work, albeit in a wheelchair. Following his illness, he returned to the stage with a vengeance, helming Durang's Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them at the Public Theater and dozens of regional productions across the country.