Famous Austrian Playwrights

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Austrian Playwrights

 1 Stefan Zweig

Stefan Zweig.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 28, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Died: February 22, 1942

Stefan Zweig was an Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, and biographer. He was one of the most widely translated and most popular writers in the world at the height of his career. His best-known work is Sternstunden der Menschheit, in which he wrote about decisive historical events. His later years were very difficult and he died by suicide in 1942.

 2 Peter Handke

Peter Handke.
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 6, 1942
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Griffen, Austria

Peter Handke is an Austrian novelist, poet, translator, playwright, screenwriter, and film director. One of the most respected personalities in Austria, Handke has won several prestigious awards over the course of his career. In 1973, he was awarded the Georg Büchner Prize. In 1987, he won the Vilenica International Literary Prize. In 2019, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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 3 Oskar Kokoschka

Oskar Kokoschka.
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Famous As: Painter, Playwright, Writer, Poet, University teacher
Birthdate: March 1, 1886
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pöchlarn
Died: February 22, 1980

 4 Thomas Bernhard

Thomas Bernhard.
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Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Playwright, Screenwriter, Poet
Birthdate: February 9, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Heerlen
Died: February 12, 1989

Thomas Bernhard was born to an unwed mother in Holland and spent a lot of his adolescence in hospitals due to his chronic lung disease, which eventually claimed his life at age 58. He excelled in music and drama and gained fame for his controversial and pessimistic novels and plays.

 5 Elfriede Jelinek

Elfriede Jelinek.
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Famous As: Novelist & Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Birthdate: October 20, 1946
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mürzzuschlag

Elfriede Jelinek is an Austrian novelist and playwright who was honored with the 2004 Nobel Prize in Literature. Widely regarded as the most prominent playwright of the German language, Elfriede Jelinek has several prestigious awards and honors under her belt.

 6 Arthur Schnitzler

Arthur Schnitzler
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: May 15, 1862
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 21, 1931

Born to a doctor, Arthur Schnitzler had initially followed in his father’s footsteps and practiced medicine, gaining expertise in psychiatry. He later made a mark as an author and playwright with works such as Anatol and None but the Brave, which became hallmarks of modernism and the decadent movement.

 7 Robert Musil

Robert Musil
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Famous As: Writer, Librarian, Novelist, Playwright, Screenwriter, Essayist
Birthdate: November 6, 1880
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Klagenfurt
Died: April 15, 1942

Best remembered for his incomplete novel The Man Without Qualities, Austrian-German novelist Robert Musil had worked as a librarian, editor, and journalist and was also a qualified mechanical engineer. He had also served in the army during World War I but mostly gained fame as a modernist writer.

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 8 Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Hugo von Hofmannsthal
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Famous As: Novelist, Librettist, Poet, Playwright, Writer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: February 1, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: July 15, 1929

Known for his lyrical poetry and plays, Austrian author Hugo von Hofmannsthal had initially studied law and philology but later devoted his life to writing. His collaborative works with composer Richard Strauss included libretti for many of his operas, such as The Cavalier of the Rose and Arabella.

 9 Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 13, 1975
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Munich, Germany

Best known for his bestselling novel Tyll, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and is also being made into a Netflix series, German author Daniel Kehlmann is the son of TV director Michael Kehlmann and actor Dagmar Mettler. His other notable works include Measuring the World and Fame.

 10 Hermann Broch

Hermann Broch
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Famous As: Writer, Playwright
Birthdate: November 1, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: May 30, 1951

Born into an affluent family, Hermann Broch sold his family’s textile factory to focus on studying physics, math, and philosophy. Mostly known for his literary works such as The Sleepwalkers, he had ventured into writing only after 40. He was imprisoned by the Nazis and later fled to the U.S.

 11 Ödön von Horváth

Ödön von Horváth
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 9, 1901
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rijeka, Croatia
Died: June 1, 1938

Born to an Austro-Hungarian diplomat, Ödön von Horváth grew up studying in Hungarian but later became one of the finest writers of German literature. The writer of iconic plays such as Italian Night and Tales from the Vienna Woods, he was a significant anti-fascist playwright. He died in a thunderstorm.

 12 Ilse Aichinger

Ilse Aichinger
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: November 11, 2016

Ilse Aichinger and her twin sister, Helga, were half-Jews and were thus forbidden to study by the Nazis and sent to a button factory as laborers instead. Following World War II, she studied medicine but later quit studies to pen her harrowing experiences in her bestselling novel The Greater Hope.

 13 Johann Nestroy

Johann Nestroy
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: December 7, 1801
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 25, 1862

 14 Hermann Bahr

Hermann Bahr
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 19, 1863
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Linz, Austria
Died: January 15, 1934

Austrian author and dramatist Hermann Bahr attempted to combine naturalism and romanticism and also mastered mysticism and Symbolism. He is best remembered for his works such as the novel Himmelfahrt and the essay Wien, though the latter was banned. He had also been the director of the Deutsches Theater.

 15 Alexander Lernet-Holenia

Alexander Lernet-Holenia
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: October 21, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 3, 1976

Best known for his novel Die Standarte and his plays such as Austrian Comedy and Mishmash, Austrian author and poet Alexander Lernet-Holenia had initially studied law and also fought in World War I. During World War II, he traveled as part of an army film unit.

 16 Robert Hamerling

Robert Hamerling
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 24, 1830
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kirchberg am Walde, Austria
Died: July 13, 1889

Robert Hamerling was born into poverty but secured a place at the University of Vienna with financial assistance from people who were impressed by his talent in poetry. He is best remembered for his poems such as A Swan Song of the Romantic and Ahasuerus in Rome.

 17 Ludwig Anzengruber

Ludwig Anzengruber
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Famous As: Dramatist
Birthdate: November 29, 1839
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 10, 1889

After losing his father at 5, Ludwig Anzengruber grew up amid poverty. A school drop-out, he eventually found work at a bookstore and then stepped into acting, too. He later ventured into writing and penned some of the most loved plays of his time, such as The Pastor of Kirchfeld.

 18 Anton Wildgans

Anton Wildgans
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 17, 1881
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: May 3, 1932

Four-time Nobel Prize in Literature nominee Anton Wildgans had worked as a magistrate before taking up writing as a full-time profession. A major figure of German Expressionism, he is remembered for his poems and plays such as Herbstfrühling and Armut, and also showcased realism and neo-romanticism in his works.

 19 Eduard von Bauernfeld

Eduard von Bauernfeld
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Famous As: Dramatist
Birthdate: January 13, 1802
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 9, 1890

Known for his politically oriented satirizes, Eduard von Bauernfeld was an Austrian dramatist, poet and novella writer, who dominated the Vienna Burgtheater for half a century. Trained in jurisprudence, he began his life as government servant. Later on he devoting himself to writing, penning down successful works like Das Liebes-Protokoll, Die Bekenntnisse, Bürgerlich und romantisch, Grossjährig, Krisen , and Aus der Gesellschaft.