Celebrated Nobel Prize-winning British playwright Harold Pinter died of cancer on Christmas eve aged 78, his family said.
Pinter's distinctive style of writing found its way in the Oxford English Dictionary with the entry 'Pinteresque'. He wrote more than 30 plays including The Caretaker and The Birthday Party.
His film scripts include The French Lieutenant's Woman.
"He was a great, and it was a privilege to live with him for over 33 years," Lady Antonia Fraser, Pinter's wife, said after her husband's death.
BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob said: "He was a unique figure in British theatre. He has dominated the theatre scene since the 1950s."
Also an actor, poet, screenwriter and director, Pinter was known for his left-wing political views and was an outspoken critic of US and UK foreign policy.
Pinter won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005 and the citation said: "in his plays he uncovers the precipice in everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms".
Also See: Nobel Lecture and other articles by Harold Pinter