LOS ANGELES — After a stranger blinded him with a gunshot to the face at a Hollywood bar, Lynn Manning never thirsted for revenge.

At 23, he had to learn how to get around by himself. To stay fit, he took up martial arts and became a world champion in blind judo. To stay sane, he wrote funny, angry, poignant poems and read them at poetry slams. To grapple with stage fright, he studied acting. To find his voice on a tangle of profound issues that were wrapped up in having a disability and being an African-American, he wrote acclaimed one-act plays and co-founded a theater company in Watts.

Manning’s assailant tangled with him in a pinball tournament and came back with a gun. He was never found.

“I sincerely hope he gets what’s coming to him, but I don’t dwell much on it,” Manning told a Pennsylvania newspaper, the Allentown Morning Call, in 2007. “Some say it’s important for a victim to get closure, but I think if you need that sort of thing to move forward, you’re still a victim.”

Manning, who last month attended a White House celebration on the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, died Monday at his Los Angeles home. He was 60.

He had liver cancer, said Eric Inman, managing director of the Watts Village Theater Company, a group established by Manning and local activist Quentin Drew in 1996.

The group, which at times has eked by on a bare-bones budget, offers professional theater in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Manning was its guiding spirit and artistic director.

“He spoke about how theater had the ability to give light to those who would otherwise be invisible,” Inman said, “whether in the underserved community of South L.A. or to those in the disabled community.”

In his plays, Manning often riffed on the themes of discrimination and violence.

In 1990, he based “Shoot” on the true story of a blind friend who navigated L.A.’s mean streets with a 9mm handgun for protection. In “Before the Drive to Oakwood Station,” he wrote a 20-minute monologue by a postal worker who had just killed his family and was about to take out his co-workers and himself.

Manning’s best-known piece is the autobiographical “Weights,” which traces his life from a tortured childhood up to the shooting.

He also appeared in commercials and on “Seinfeld.”