Former President of the Drama Desk dies from complications of COVID-19
April 1, 2020: William Wolf, author, critic and educator, who was part of a golden age in magazine journalism, died on Saturday, March 18 in New York. He was the 22nd president of the Drama Desk and, also served two terms as chair of the New York Film Critics Circle. He began his career in 1964 as a film critic for Cue Magazine. When Cue was absorbed into New York Magazine, he became an editor and critic there. In the 1980s, his film criticism and features were syndicated by Gannett.
William is author of The Marx Brothers (1975), a volume of the Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies, and, with his wife, Lillian Kramer Wolf, of Landmark Films: The Cinema and Our Century (1979). As an academic, he had a long association with New York University, teaching film-related classes in multiple departments. In recent years, he conducted a popular movie preview class at Lincoln Center, where he screened and discussed soon-to-to-be-released motion pictures and interviewed filmmakers and actors.
Throughout his career, William was a prolific interviewer. His taped conversations with actors, directors, and other film and theater artists are included in the Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound at the New York Library of the Performing Arts.
No funeral or memorial are currently planned, and the family hasn’t designated a preferred recipient of memorial gifts.
The Drama Desk will plan a celebration of William’s life when the coronavirus crisis has abated.
William is survived by his wife Lillian.