Harold Pinter: Tributes for playwright
Tributes have poured in on Friday for Nobel Prize-winning playwright Harold Pinter, who died at the age of 78 on Christmas Eve after a long battle with cancer.
A small private funeral and memorial service to be held and the date to be announced.
While staging one of his best plays in London's West End, the first performance since his death, the stars of the drama heralded Harold Pinter as "one of the greatest literary figures of all time" and read loudly an address, which will be repeated at his funeral.
Harold Pinter's wife Lady Antonia Fraser told, "He was a great, and it was a privilege to live with him for over 33 years. He will never be forgotten".
David Bradley, English character actor said about Harold Pinter, "We have lost one of the greatest literary figures of all time. His loss is monumental and his influence cannot be calculated".
Michael Gambon said, "Allow the love of the good ghost. They possess all that emotion trapped. Bow to it".
Harold Pinter stopped writing plays in 2005 and focused on poetry, alongside forays into acting and screenwriting.
Following treatment for cancer of the oesophagus diagnosed in 2002, he returned to the stage, winning rave reviews for his performance of Beckett's monologue, "Krapp's Last Tape", in London in 2006.
Pinter's best-known plays included "The Birthday Party", "The Dumb Waiter" and "The Homecoming". His first play "The Room" appeared in 1957 and his breakthrough came with "The Caretaker" in 1960.
Harold Pinter was also a vocal critic of the Iraq war, calling the 2003 US-led invasion a "bandit act" which showed "absolute contempt for the concept of international law".
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, "Harold Pinter was a great dramatist and perceptive humanist who was uncompromising and intransigent".
Vaclav Have, the former Czech president said that Pinter was an inspiration in the struggle against communist rule, he was an "outstanding dramatist whom I have admired since my youth".
Michael Billington, Pinter's biographer said, "Harold Pinter was a political figure, a polemicist and carried on fierce battles against American foreign policy and often British foreign policy, but in private he was the most incredibly loyal of friends and generous of human beings".
Billington emotionally said that he would remember him as "above all as a man of generosity".