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Last Updated: Friday, 11 February, 2005, 18:00 GMT
Harold Pinter: My friend Arthur Miller
Dramatist Harold Pinter has paid tribute to his friend and fellow playwright Arthur Miller, who has died aged 89.

He was a great playwright and a great man - and a great friend of mine. It's been a great shock to hear this news, although he was pretty old.

Arthur Miller
Mr Pinter said Arthur Miller was "a man of rare integrity in his writing"
His plays - Death of a Salesman, A View From the Bridge, All My Sons and The Crucible, for example - are among the finest works that have been produced in the 20th Century.

But he was also a highly dignified and an extraordinarily formidable man, an independent man.

He and I had a memorable trip to Turkey about 20 years ago when we met a lot of writers that had been in prison and had been tortured. I admired him tremendously for his independence and his clarity of mind.

He was a wonderful chap and I'm really quite knocked over by this news.

He was so honest and a man of rare integrity in his writing. You could see it in his writing. He was also totally independent.

In the United States, they didn't like him very much because he was too outspoken and too critical of the way of life in the United States and certain assumptions that were made over there.

Harold Pinter
He was a landmark, he was a leader, and I was extremely attached to him
Harold Pinter (above)
But he was unremitting and remorseless in using his critical intelligence. He did this both as a man and as a playwright, and that's why he's such a remarkable figure.

I hadn't spoken to him over the last few months, but I heard he was happily married again, which was wonderful news. We did communicate - he did a seminar about my work in fact in New York a few years ago, and I was very honoured by this, and we spoke on that occasion.

But we'd been a bit out of touch and I'm absolutely flabbergasted to hear that he's gone.

He had a wonderful kind of velocity about him. He was as tough as a rock, really. He looked like a bit of a rock too. That was one of the other things that made him remarkable - his actual physical presence was quite formidable.

This certainly embodied itself when we both went to Turkey together for this memorable trip in which we were nearly arrested and there was a military decree out for our arrest in Istanbul.

We just managed to get away by the skin of our teeth. They didn't like us at all over there because we were very independent and he was a landmark, he was a leader, and I was extremely attached to him.

I'm pretty convinced he was writing until the day of his death. He was born with the pen in his hand.

Harold Pinter was speaking to BBC News 24.

Harold Pinter's praise for Miller


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