Edit

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (27) | Personal Quotes (28)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 11 March 1952Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Date of Death 11 May 2001Santa Barbara, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameDouglas Noel Adams
Nickname DNA
Height 6' 5" (1.96 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born Douglas Noel Adams on March 11, 1952 in Cambridge. From 1959 until 1970 he went to Brentwood school in Essex, and his main interest was science. As a student in Cambridge he decided to hitch-hike through Europe to Istanbul, and in order to raise funds for this he took a lot of small jobs. In 1970 he left school to become a writer, certain that success was just around the corner. But nothing happened. He worked with the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman and John Lloyd, but hardly anything they did was published.

On February 4 1977 he met Simon Brett, who then was doing Radio 4's 'The Burkiss Way'. They agreed to produce a science fiction comedy show on radio. This was the birth of the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Douglas Adams married Jane Belson on November 24 1991 and they have a daughter by the name Polly Jane, born on June 22, 1994. They lived in Islington, but in 1999 they moved to California, USA. In 1997 Douglas signed a deal with Disney to make a feature movie, and he immediately started working on the screenplay. Jay Roach, of Austin Powers fame, was signed as director.

On the morning of May 11 2001, Adams went to the local gym to work out. There he suffered a massive heart attack and all attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He died, and left his 6 year old daughter Polly, his wife Jane, his mother Jan Thrift, brother James and countless other family members and friends, not to mention thousands and thousands of fans all over the world, in shock and mourning.

Author of the hysterically funny series of books, summarized as "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", which also include a radio series, a TV series, stage play, record albums, computer game, graphic novels and a bath towel.

He also wrote the Dirk Gently novels and a non fiction book, "Last Chance to See", about endangered species. Apart from being a writer, he was also a chicken shed cleaner, bodyguard for an Arab royal family and he actually at one time played guitar for Pink Floyd (42nd birthday gift from David Gilmour, an old friend).

Douglas co-founded the company The Digital Village (now h2g2), producing nearly everything that has to do with media: TV, movies, computer games etc. He was one of the creators of Starship Titanic, a combined book (co-written with Terry Jones of the Monty Python bunch) and computer game.

It was often claimed that P.G. Wodehouse had influence on him and his work, and when once asked about this he replied: "Yes, a huge impact. But not an early impact. I didn't start reading Wodehouse until I was writing 'Restaurant at the end of the universe'. I can see the impact starting almost immediately. I think that Wodehouse, without exaggeration, was a genius on the English language."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: dukedunstable@yahoo.se

Spouse (1)

Jane Belson (24 November 1991 - 11 May 2001) (his death) (1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

42 - the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Using science fiction as satire
Towering height

Trivia (27)

Studied English Literature at Cambridge University. While at university, he was a member of the prestigious Cambridge University Footlights Club.
One daughter, Polly Jane Rocket Adams.
Claimed to have the initial idea for his work, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (1981), while lying drunk in a field holding a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Europe.
Was working on having a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy film produced at the time of his death.
Died of an apparent heart attack on 11 May 2001; collapsed while working out in a gym.
The day before his death (10th May 2001) the Minor Planet Centre of the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 18610 "Arthurdent", after the character Arthur Dent in The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (1981).
Was left-handed and had a large collection of left-handed guitars.
Helped Keith Allen with his piano lessons.
At the request of David Gilmour, he helped come up with a name for a new Pink Floyd album ("The Division Bell"). In exchange, David Gilmour contributed £5000 to a charity of Adams' choice.
Stated once that he always found it difficult to write for female characters.
The on-line translator Babelfish is named after the Babelfish that Adams wrote of in his novel "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." In "The Hitchhiker's Guide..." the Babelfish was a tiny fish that one puts in one's ear and then any of the galaxy's myriad languages they hear is automatically translated and heard in their native language. The instant messaging software Trillian is named after the lead female character in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
In September 2004, new "Tertiary Phase" episodes of "The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" BBC Radio 4 series debuted. Prior to his death, Adams had begun work with Dirk Maggs on adapting books 3-5 of the "trilogy" for radio. Maggs has taken on the mantle of finishing the writing (based on Adams' extensive notes) and directing the episodes. Phase 4 ("Quandary") began airing in May 2005, with phase 5 ("Quintessential") to follow.
The online site H2G2.com was created at his suggestion. The site is a web-based pseudo-encyclopedia, inspired by the style of Adams' fictional Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (hence, HHGG, or H2G2). The site was one of the first "reference" web sites maintained by contributions from the public at large.
Was an early pioneer in the personal computer explosion of the 1980s and 90s. For example, he owned the first two Apple Macintosh computers sold in the UK; was heavily involved in the development of first-person computer games (such as the computer version of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy", "Bureaucracy" and "Starship Titanic"); and was an early adopter of the Internet. For several years, he was actively involved in the Internet newsgroup, alt.fan.douglas-adams, and would often personally answer messages in that forum. However, as the Internet became more popular, the questions became more and more repetitions of the same (or were offensive and/or insulting), and his personal responses became rare.
Adams used to shower with the hot water running, and stay there until he had come up with an idea. His water bill was extremely high.
A founding member of the team that launched Comic Relief.
Doctor Who: City of Death: Part One (1979), the Doctor Who (1963) story he co-wrote with Graham Williams under the pseudonym of David Agnew, is regarded by many fans as one of the best stories in the series' entire run. It was voted the seventh greatest story in a Doctor Who (1963) Magazine poll in 1998 and the fifth greatest Doctor Who (1963) story in fan site Outpost Gallifrey's 40th Anniversary Poll.
When he died, his Internet site was flooded by condolence messages, a big amount of whose simply read "So long and thanks for all the fish", one of the catchphrases from the Hitchhiker's Guide. The same sentence is also his gravestone epitaph.
During a lecture Neil Gaiman told that when he was a guest in Adams' house, he asked "Where are the towels?" and Adams answered "I don't know". Half of the audience sniggered at that, and Gaiman said, "Many of you don't know why it's funny that Adams didn't know where his towels were. Too bad." It was a reference to the towels running joke in Hitchhiker's Guide.
He was proud that his initials spelled DNA and used to point it out.
He had been a huge fan of ''Doctor Who'' since it's debut.
Was well-known for his love of technology, especially products by Apple.
He was a notorious procrastinator and his editors once had to lock him inside of a hotel room to get him to finish a book.
He was a huge fan of ''The Beatles'' and referenced them constantly in his work.
Posthumously playing the part of Agrajag in the new "Tertiary Phase" episodes of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy" BBC4 radio series (adapted from book 3, "Life, The Universe, and Everything"). This was done by incorporating recordings of him reading his books. [September 2004]
According to ''The Salmon of Doubt'', he once took an impromptu trip to Australia to comparatively test-drive a new underwater vehicle and a sting ray for an article so that he could procrastinate on a book. Similarly, he once hiked up Mt. Kilimanjaro - spending a part of a trip in a rhino suit - for similar purposes.
The Asteroid Apophis, which was classified as a Near Earth Object with a record-breaking Torino Scale rating and thought to be a threat to Earth in 2036(more accurate measurements followed and the threat was scaled down entirely) had the designation 99942. Numerology enthusiasts would notice that that is the UK Emergency Services phone number and the number of the Meaning of Life in quick succession.

Personal Quotes (28)

[on BBC Online chat, 11/8/00] I'm 48, which is a bit of a shock to me. Why only last year I thought I was a precocious young thing!
[11/8/00] I think that growing up in a crowded continent like Europe with an awful lot of competing claims, ideas . . . cultures . . . and systems of thought we have, perforce, developed a more sophisticated notion of what the word freedom means than I see much evidence of in America. To be frank, it sometimes seems that the American idea of freedom has more to do with my freedom to do what I want than your freedom to do what you want. I think that in Europe we're probably better at understanding how to balance those competing claims, though not a lot.
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
[agreeing that Starship Titanic (1998) should be delayed rather than released incomplete] We should nail our colors to the mast of quality.
I loved Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969). For years I wanted to be John Cleese, I was most disapointed when I found out the job had been taken.
When it comes down to it, my principle is this - Arthur should be British. The rest of the cast should be decided purely on merit and not on nationality.
A danger one runs is that the moment you have anything in the script that's clearly meant to be funny in some way, everybody thinks 'oh well we can do silly voices and silly walks and so on', and I think that's exactly the wrong way to do it.
Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart.
Cyberspace is - or can be - a good, friendly and egalitarian place to meet.
I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.
There is a particular disdain with which Siamese cats regard you. Anyone who has walked in on the Queen cleaning her teeth will be familiar with the feeling.
We notice things that don't work. We don't notice things that do. We notice computers, we don't notice pennies. We notice e-book readers, we don't notice books.
I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies: 1. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. 2. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. 3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
One of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them: It is a well known fact, that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. Anyone who is capable of getting themselves into a position of power should on no account be allowed to do the job. Another problem with governing people is people.
Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash form point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what's so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what's so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all decide where the hell they wanted to be.
There are two things in particular that it [the computer industry] failed to foresee: one was the coming of the Internet . . . the other was the fact that the century would end.
Having been an English literary graduate, I've been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. I think media are at their most interesting before anybody's thought of calling them art, when people still think they're just a load of junk.
See first, think later, then test. But always see first. Otherwise you will only see what you were expecting. Most scientists forget that.
The big corporations are suddenly taking notice of the web, and their reactions have been slow. Even the computer industry failed to see the importance of the Internet, but that's not saying much. Let's face it, the computer industry failed to see that the century would end.
I think that Doctor Who (1963) is at its best when the humour and the drama work together and that however absurd a situation may be, it is actually very, very real and it has very real consequences. That's the moment at which something that's inherently absurd actually becomes frightening.
I had a great deal of say, but the producer didn't have a great deal of listen.
It is not considered fashionable in Britain to know things or to talk about stuff. You should bear this in mind when visiting.
One of the best ways to keep from being unhappy is not to have a word for it.
These people look at a catflap and they say "I could have thought of that!" The point is they didn't, and a very revealing and significant point it is too.
Trying to predict the future is a mug's game. But it's a game we increasingly have to play because the World is changing so fast. And we need to have some idea of what the future's going to be like because we're going to have to live there. Probably, next week.
Present someone with a clipboard questionnaire and they lie. You'd be amazed how many people out there are the millionaire CEO of their own company.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page