Death noted: A playwright who caught the pitch

“During the Depression, my [physician] father went back to Boone, and I lived for four years of my early life in Boone…. The other plays are OK, at their best, but the pitch of the voices… in my Appalachian plays…  is a little sharper because I heard that when I was a child.”

— Playwright Romulus Linney, recalling for an interviewer in 2002 one of his many North Carolina influences. Romulus Zachariah Linney IV’s great-grandfather was a Taylorsville lawyer and three-term Congressman.

Linney died Saturday at age 80, prolific and widely respected though never having achieved the fame of an August Wilson or a Horton Foote (or of Laura, his actress daughter).