Jacinto Benavente y Martínez (12 August 1866 – 14 July 1954) was one of the foremost Spanish dramatists of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1922 "for the happy manner in which he has continued the illustrious traditions of the Spanish drama".
Born in Madrid, the son of a celebrated pediatrician, he returned drama to reality by way of social criticism: declamatory verse giving way to prose, melodrama to comedy, formula to experience, impulsive action to dialogue and the play of minds. Benavente showed a preoccupation with aesthetics and later with ethics.
A liberal monarchist and a critic of Socialism, he was a reluctant supporter of the Franco régime as the only viable alternative to what he considered the disastrous republican experiment of 1931–1936. Benavente died in Aldeaencabo de Escalona (Toledo) at the age of 87. He never married. According to many sources, he was homosexual.