Eugene O'Neill was the first American playwright to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He completed "The Iceman Cometh" in 1939, but he delayed production until after the war, when it enjoyed a long run of performances in 1946 after receiving mixed reviews. Three years after O'Neill's death, Jason Robards starred in a Broadway revival that brought new critical attention to O'Neill's darkest and most nihilistic play. In the half century since, "The Iceman Cometh" has gained enormously in stature, and many critics now recognize it as one of the greatest plays in American drama. "The Iceman Cometh" focuses on a group of alcoholics and misfits who endlessly discuss but never act on their dreams, and Hickey, the traveling salesman determined to strip them of their pipe dreams.