HATCHER--Tom. Died of lung cancer on October 26th at the age of 77. He created a unique private park in Quogue, Long Island that most people in the village aren't aware exists. He also had an unusually close and open relationship with the playwright Arthur Laurents that began over 50 years ago when such relationships were kept hidden. Mr. Hatcher was born in Ada, Oklahoma and was brought up in Tulsa. He attended both Tulsa University, where he studied Religion, and Political Science at the University of Oklahoma from which he graduated. He believed, as he said, that he had to get out of Oklahoma to live the full life he wanted. He first went to Los Angeles, where he had summered as a teenager, and worked for a contractor renovating houses, then studied acting and played a few minor television roles but ended managing the leading men's store in Beverly Hills. Then he met Mr. Laurents and moved to New York where they lived together. Some better television roles, Broadway appearances in "A Clearing in the Woods" with Kim Stanley and "Invitation to a March" with Jane Fonda, Eileen Heckart and James MacArthur and a summer theatre appearance with Ms. Fonda in "No Concern of Mine" ended Mr. Hatcher's desire for an acting career. By then, he had taken over the renovation of a brownstone he and Mr. Laurents had bought in the West Village. That led to a modestly successful career which he transferred to Quogue where he became a very successful real estate developer, buying and renovating old houses and building new ones, the last three forming a compound around his 12 acre park. Each year he changed the look of the park by adding new specimens of trees and shrubs and flowers to what he called rooms. In 2005, he and Mr. Laurents celebrated their 50th anniversary in the park on his birthday, which was also the day on which they met. He was a longtime active member in the recovery community. Mr. Hatcher is survived by his brother David and Mr. Laurents.
Published in New York Times from Oct. 29 to Oct. 30, 2006.