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British Playwright Harold Pinter Dead at 78

Famed British playwright and Nobel laureate Harold Pinter died late Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 78 years old.

Pinter's wife, Lady Antonia Fraser, confirmed his death. She released a statement to British media saying "it was a privilege to live with him" and that he will never be forgotten.

Born in London, Pinter rose to fame with works including "The Birthday Party," "The Caretaker" and "Betrayal." His plays were famous for their characters' long, tense pauses in conversation.

Yet Pinter also was known as a director, actor, poet and outspoken political activist. He strongly criticized British and U.S. foreign policy.

Pinter received a number of awards and honorary degrees during his lifetime, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, and the Legion d'Honneur (Legion of Honor) in 2007, France's highest award.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.