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William Earl Hezlep Edit Profile

playwright , Theater educator

William Earl Hezlep was an American theater educator and playwright. As a playwright, he has devoted much of his career to writing for children.


Mr. Hezlep was born on September 14, 1936, in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, United States. He was a son of Harry Morgan and Anne May (Simpson) Hezlep.


William Hezlep received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Westminster College in 1961. In 1965 he obtained Master of Arts from Wayne State University. In 1973 he earned his Doctor of Philosophy from Wayne State University.


From 1965 to 1968 Mr. Hezlep worked at Wayne State University, Detroit, Ml, as an instructor. Between 1968 to 1972 he was appointed assistant professor at Southwest State University, Marshall, MN. From 1973 till 1976 he was an associate professor and department chairperson, and since 1976 professor of theater arts at the same university.

During 1968-1977 William Hezlep served as a director of Southwest Summer Theatre, Marshall. Later he occupied the post of a stage actor with the Hilberry repertory company in Detroit, summer stock productions in Pennsylvania at the Pittsburgh Playhouse, and in Illinois and Minnesota, and with a touring children’s theater company. He also was an actor in films and television commercials.

Military service: U.S. Navy, 1954-1957.


  • William Hezlep is well known as an author of a number of books. most of his books were written for children.



Quotations: "I have kept a log of what was going on around me since 1954 when I ran away from home, lied about my age, and joined the U.S. Navy. These writings have given me an objective view of myself, people around me, and the importance and unimportance of what happens in our lives... We are all constantly changing from day to day, week to week, and year to year."

"I think that to be successful in the theatre, or in writing, you must keep the child alive inside of you. It is that creative being that we once were, and at times still are, that holds the magic 'if' of creativity: If we entered a haunted castle ... if we were shipwrecked on a desert island ... if we would travel back in time. . . . And the child’s mind takes off like a rocket. Keep the child alive inside you, and develop a voice of selfdiscipline that you alone can hear."


  • Screen Actors Guild , United States

  • Authors League of America , United States

  • Dramatists Guild , United States

  • Minnesota Educational Association , United States

  • Greenpeace , United States

  • Pipestone Indian Shrine Association , United States


  • Other Interests

    Avocations: fishing, archaeology.


William Hezlep married an actor Norma Simpson on April, 1965. She died in November 1976. In August, 1977, he married Diane DeSutter, a director of nursing. In May 1982 she passed away. In June 3, 1983, he married for the thirs time. His wife's name was Ruth Eloise Jacobson. Mr. Hezlep has two children: Dirk Morgan and Erin Casey.

Harry Morgan Hezlep - American

Anne May (Simpson) Hezlep

Dirk Morgan Hezlep - American

Erin Casey Hezlep - American

Norma Simpson - American

Diane DeSutter

Ruth Eloise Jacobson