(William Grimes’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/3; via Pam Green.)

Gordon Davidson, who as artistic director of the Mark Taper Forum for nearly 40 years helped establish Los Angeles as a West Coast capital of regional theater and challenged audiences with socially conscious plays, died on Sunday in Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Judi Davidson, said he had collapsed at a family dinner. She said the cause of death had not been determined.

Mr. Davidson, who was often regarded as the West Coast counterpart of Joseph Papp, the longtime director of the New York Shakespeare Festival, was a transplanted New Yorker who in 1967 was handed mission impossible when the civic leader Dorothy Chandler invited him to run the newly founded Mark Taper Forum, a 745-seat theater.


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