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Subject: Nick Enright, Playwright

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Date Posted: March 31, 2003 8:08:10 EDT

Australian playwright Nick Enright, who was nominated for an Oscar in 1993 for his screenplay for "Lorenzo's Oil," has died of cancer, a spokeswoman for Australia's top drama academy said Monday. He was 52.

Andrea Moller of the National Institute of Dramatic Art, or NIDA, said Enright died Sunday. "He had been sick for a long time," she said.

The Australian and Sydney Morning Herald daily newspapers reported that he was diagnosed with skin cancer about 12 months ago.

He underwent radio and chemotherapy and traveled to Los Angeles for natural therapy, on the advice of Australian-raised actor Mel Gibson, The Australian reported.

Enright, along with director George Miller, was nominated for the best original screenplay Academy Award for "Lorenzo's Oil." The pair were beaten by Neil Jordan for "The Crying Game."

Enright was also well known in Australia for his stage scripts, including the popular adaptation of Tim Winton's novel "Cloudstreet."

Enright was head of drama at NIDA in Sydney from 1982-1984. He taught at other Australian institutions and was passionate about bringing drama to young people.

In 2000, he spent a week teaching acting in the remote Outback town of Alice Springs as part of a project with the Australian Theater for Young People.

"You learn more from them, their life experiences and their view of the world," Enright said of the young actors. "It's the way they challenge your view that's so interesting. They bring a kind of passion and joy that is often lacking in young professionals."

He is survived by his mother, three brothers and a sister, Moller said. The family was planning a private funeral and cremation to be followed by a public memorial service, Moller added.

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