The Oscars and Tony Awards did not properly honor Arthur Laurents before his death Thursday at age 93. At the Academy Awards, Laurents was nominated twice — as a producer and writer of "The Turning Point" (1977), which is tied with "The Color Purple" (1985) as the biggest loser in Oscar history. Both films went down to defeat 11 times without a win.
Laurents was not nominated for his screenplay for "The Way We Were" (1973), but he did win a Writers Guild of America Award for it.
Laurents created some of Broadway's greatest musicals, but he won Tonys for the wrong shows. "West Side Story" lost best musical to "The Music Man" in 1958 and "Gypsy" lost to "Fiorello" and "The Sound of Music" in 1960. When he was nominated for directing revivals of "Gypsy," he lost again and again — in 1975 to Geoffrey Holder ("The Wiz") and in 2008 to Bartlett Sher ("South Pacific").
Laurents did win best musical for "Hallelujah Baby," but 1968 was a weak year. Its competition was "The Happy Time," "How Now, Dow Jones" and "Illya, Darling."He finally won the Tony for directing when he helmed "La Cage aux Folles." He beat James Lapine ("Sunday in the Park With George").