Tony Award winning director, writer, and actor Douglas Turner Ward died February 20, 2021 in New York City at the age of the 90. An official cause of death was not given.

Ward; along with Robert Hooks and Gerald Krone, founded the Negro Ensemble Company in 1967.  The St. Mark’s Playhouse went on to become home base for the Company.  The trio were awarded a Special Tony Award for creation of the Theatre Company.

Ward has been a part of “The Iceman Cometh”, “The River Niger”, “The First Breeze of Summer”, “A Soldier’s Play”, “A Raisin in the Sun”, and “Home”.

Along with his Tony Award, Tony Award, and three time Drama Desk Award winner;  Ward is a member of the “Theater Hall of Fame”.

On the screen Ward is credited with acting roles in “East Side/West Side”, “Man and Boy”, “Ceremonies in Dark Old Men”, “Go Tell it on the Mountain”, “The Crosby Show”, “The Women of Brewster Place”, “Law & Order”, “New York News”, “Cosby”, “For Love of Olivia” and “Black Eros”.

He was born Roosevelt Ward Jr on May 5, 1030 in Burnside, Louisiana but grew up in New Orleans.  His name change to Douglas Turner Ward is a tribute to abolitionist Frederick Douglas and slave revolter Nat Turner.

Ward is survived by his wife of over 50 years Diana, children Elizabeth and Douglas, and three grand children.

feature photo credit: By Running Wild Films – The Lion at Rest: Conversations with Douglas Turner Ward at 00:48, cropped, CC BY 3.0,