He was born in Stockholm, Sweden, on May 23, 1938, and prepared at Phillips Academy in Andover. A resident of Leverett House at Harvard, he received his A.B. with the Class in 1960.
He moved to Manhattan after graduation with the intention of becoming a theatrical writer. In 1961 he won a Guggenheim Fellowship on the basis of his first play, The Magic Glass, and the following year his play Every Year at Carnival was produced by the Eugene O’Neil Memorial Theatre Foundation.
During his New York years he was associated with the Juilliard School, The Muckrakers Group, the American Jewish Theatre, and the Long Wharf Theatre.
Shifting his focus to dramatic biographies, he became an award-winning documentarian. He wrote more than one hundred radio and television plays for the BBC, Radio 4, and Westdeutscher Rundfunk, winning two Emmy Awards and two Christopher Awards.
His novel, The Wail, published posthumously, won the gold medal in visionary fiction from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in 2009. He also taught writing at New York University, Syracuse University, and the Method Studio in London. He had lived in England since 1993.
He was survived by his wife, Stacey McNutt, whom he married in 1994; two daughters, Katherine and Tanya; a granddaughter; and his former wife, Lorie Sullivan.