NEW YORK -- Theater director and former Williamstown Theatre Festival artistic director Nicholas Martin, 75, died Wednesday night at Beth Israel Hospital after a long illness.

Martin took over as the festival's artistic director in November 2007 after having served seven years as artistic director of Huntington Theater in Boston. He remained WTF's artistic chief until the end of the 2010 season.

In a total 10-year relationship with Williamstown, he directed 19 productions, most recently last summer's "Pygmalion" with Robert Sean Leonard.

Other notable productions he directed with WTF include "The Royal Family," "Dead End," "Where's Charley?", "She Loves Me," "The Corn is Green" and "Our Town."

"Nicky was a close friend and frequent collaborator to all of us at Williamstown Theatre Festival and we will miss him dearly," WTF producer Stephen Kaus said in a news release issued by the festival's New York publicists. "He was one of the most respected and beloved men in the American theater, and this is a huge loss for our community.

"He genuinely loved working and being a part of Williamstown, he often remarked that being part of Williamstown was one of the greatest gifts of his career."

As much a presence on Broadway as he was in regional theater, Martin directed last year's Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning play "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" by Christopher Durang, for which he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Director.


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Originally a stage actor himself, Martin's leading players, to name a few, included Victor Garber, Nathan Lane, Kristine Nielsen, Debra Monk, Andrea Martin, Kate Burton, Richard Easton, Brooks Ashmanskas, Blair Brown, Mary Louise Wilson, Hope Davis, Campbell Scott, Dana Ivey, Ethan Hawke, David Hyde Pierce, Dylan and Becky Ann Baker, Christopher Fitzgerald and Jessica Stone.

Berkshire Eagle entertainment editor Jeffrey Borak contributed to this article.