Ariel Dorfman received honorary doctorates from Illinois Wesleyan University (1989), Wooster College (1991), Bradford College (1993), and American University (2001). His novels and plays have garnered many awards. Chile-Films, Santiago, named his unproduced screenplay Balmaceda the best screenplay in 1972. The novel Hard Rain was accorded the Premio Ampliado Sudamericana-La Opinión in 1973. His play Death and the Maiden has outdone all other writings in terms of awards: In London, it won the Time Out Award and the Sir Laurence Olivier Award, both for best play of the season (1991-1992). In Korea, the play won the Dong Award for best play (1992-1993), and in Canada, it won several Dora Mavor Moore Awards, including for outstanding play or musical (1994). It also won Japan’s Yoshiko Yuasa Prize for best foreign play (1999).
Dorfman also received two Kennedy Center Theater Awards: the Kennedy Center/American Express New Plays Award for Widows and the Roger L. Stevens Award for Extraordinary Playwriting for Reader. In 1995, the Writers Guild of Great Britain recognized Prisoners in Time as the best television drama; it was written with his son Rodrigo. Dorfman also won the ALOA Prize in Denmark for his memoir Heading South, Looking North in 2002. He served as the Walter Hines Page Distinguished Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University.