Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#CollisionWithFame: Larry Shue, September 23, 1985

Larry Shue, 39, was an American playwright best known for his farcical humor.  While enjoying a limited film and television career in the 1970s, he is best known for his plays The Nerd, The Foreigner, Grandma Duck is Dead, My Emperor's New Clothes, and Wenceslas Square.  His plays largely revolved around “fish out of water” concepts – the disastrous uninvited dinner party guest “Rick” from The Nerd, for example, or the character “Charlie” in The Foreigner who pretends to not speak English in order to be left in peace at a vacation resort (thereby  only making himself the object of curiosity).  The Nerd started in London’s West End and ended up on Broadway. Shue’s life was cut tragically short in 1985, when the commuter Beechcraft 99 he was traveling in crashed into a mountain on initial approach for landing at Grottoes Grove, Virginia.  Flying under instrument conditions, the plane struck a mountain at an elevation of 2,400’, killing both pilots and all twelve passengers.