Broadway Giant Cantor Dies at 81

Legendary Broadway producer Arthur Cantor - whose long-running hits included A Thousand Clowns and All the Way Home - died yesterday afternoon at age 81.

Cantor, a resident of the Dakota apartment house on Central Park West, died of a heart attack at Mount Sinai Hospital, following a bout with pneumonia. 

"His heart just gave out," his son, David, told The Post

Cantor - who brought more than 50 plays to stages along the Great White Way, Off-Broadway and London's West End - was a consummate showman until the end, his son said. 

"Just hours before he died, he was reading the theater section of The New York Times, saying, 'Look at all these shows. Can you believe the prices they're getting? They'll be getting $100 soon,'" David said. 

Cantor was one of the first proponents of discounted tickets for families and groups, his son said. 

A native of Boston and graduate of Harvard University, Cantor first produced Paddy Chayefsky's drama The Tenth Man

Other credits included the Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Way Home, Gideon and On Golden Pond

Well-known stars in his shows included Rex Harrison and Julie Harris, in In Praise of Love; Claire Bloom, in Vivat! Vivat Regina!; Maggie Smith, in Private Lives; and Ingrid Bergman, in The Constant Wife

He also produced Dylan Thomas Growing Up, A Party with Bette Comden and Adolph Green, The Biko Inquest, St. Mark's Gospel and The Hothouse

Most recently, he presented the long-running hit Beau Jest, and Eileen Atkins as Virginia Woolf in A Room of One's Own, both at the Lamb's Theatre. 

Cantor is also survived by a daughter, Jacqueline. His wife, Deborah, died in 1970, and another son, Michael, who appeared in the movie Dirty Dancing, died in 1991.