Ulrich Plenzdorf was a German author and dramatist.

Born in Berlin, Plenzdorf studied Philosophy in Leipzig, but graduated with a degree in film. He found work at DEFA.

He became famous in both East and West Germany for his socially critical work titled "Die neuen Leiden des jungen W." Written in the jargon of the GDR-youth of the 1970s, it details the tragic story of a young man and his attempt to break free from his stifling bourgeois environment, drawing parallels between his own life and that of the protagonist in Goethe's work The Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werther) (1774).

Since 2004, Plenzdorf had been a guest lecturer at the Deutsches Literaturinstitut in Leipzig.

He died of undisclosed causes, aged 72.