Clive Barnes, longtime New York theatre critc, dies of cancer at 81

The New Yok Times has reported that longtime New York Theatre critic Clive Barnes died of complications of cancer earlier today (19 Nov 2008), at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He was 81 years old. Barnes was the New York Post critic, and had until very recently been writing reviews for the newspaper.

Barnes was born in Britain and educated at Oxford. He began his career writing dance and theatre reviews for such London publications as The Spectator and The Times of London.

In 1965 he was appointed dance critic for the New York Times, and in 1967 succeeded Walter Kerr as the paper's theatre critic. He held that post until 1977, but when the New York Times insisted he gives up reviewing dance and concentrate solely on theatre critic, he resigned.

In 1978 he became the chief dance and theatre critic for The New York Post, a post he held until his death.

Col Allan, The Post's editor-in-chief, said yesterday, "Clive Barnes was a genuine legend. For 30 years as a critic for the New York Post, he wrote with honesty and a delightful whimsy. Clive's colleagues and the readers he served for so long are impoverished by his passing." Barnes is survived by his wife, Taylor; two children, Chris and Maya, from his second marriage, to Patricia Winckley; and two grandchildren.

Originally published on

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