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Ronald Harwood Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Trivia (12)

Overview (2)

Born in Cape Town, South Africa
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in South-Africa in 1934, Ronald Harwood moved to London in 1951 to pursue a career in the theater. After attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, he joined the Shakespeare Company of Sir Donald Wolfit, one of the last 'actor-manager' of Great-Britain. From 1953 to 1958, Harwood became the personal dresser of Sir Donald. He would later draw from this experience in his play 'The Dresser' and write a biography 'Sir Donald Wolfit CBE: His life and work in the Unfashionable Theatre'.

In 1960, he started a new career as a writer and would prove to be quite prolific, penning plays, novels and non-fiction books. He also worked often as a screenwriter but he seldom wrote original material directly for the screen, rather acting as an adapter sometimes of his own work.

One of the recurring themes in Harwood's work is his fascination for the stage, its artists and artisans as displayed in the aforementionned 'The Dresser', his plays 'After the Lions' (about Sarah Bernard) ,'Another time' (about a gifted piano player), 'Quartet' (about aging opera singers) and his non-fiction book 'All the world's a stage', a general history of theater. Harwood also has a strong interest in the WWII period, as highlighted by the films 'Operation daybreak', 'The Statement', 'The Pianist', and his play turned to film 'Taking sides'. Based on true stories, the two last films feature once again musicians as their main characters.

Made Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1974 and Commander of the British Empire in 1999, Harwood was president of the international PEN Club from 1993 to 1997 after presiding the British section during the four previous years.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: François Leclair

Trivia (12)

His comedy, Quartet performed at the Albery Theatre in 1999, was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2000 for Best New Comedy.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1982 Tony Award as author of Best Play nominee "The Dresser."
He was awarded the C.B.E. (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1999 Queen's New Years Honors List for his services to literature.
He is the first Oscar winning screenwriter, ever, to write a book solely about the craft of screen-writing - Ronald Harwood's Adaptations (2007).
Ranked #90 on the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
Cousin of stage actor Antony Sher (their mothers are sisters).
He is the only Oscar winning screenwriter ever to write a book on screenwriting "Ronald Harwood's Adaptations". Most other screenwriting books are written by people who have never even had a film made let alone win awards.
He was awarded the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire in the 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
He is based in London, England. [January 2007]
He has just written Ronald Harwood's Adaptations. This is the first book solely on screenwriting by someone who has actually won an Oscar for screenwriting. [December 2007]
South Kensington, London, England [June 2010]
His play "An English Tragedy" is currently premiering at Watford Palace Theatre, England. [March 2008]

See also

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