|Born||in Dublin, Ireland, UK [now Republic of Ireland]|
|Died||in Ayot St. Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England, UK (kidney failure)|
|Height||6' 2" (1.88 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
The Anglo-Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925, acquired a reputation as the greatest dramatist in the English language during the first half of the 20th Century for the plays he had written at the height of his creativity from "Mrs. Warren's Profession" in 1893 to "The Apple Cart" in 1929. His works have been revived on Broadway from 1894 to 2010. His most famous work in the 21st Century is My Fair Lady (1964), the musical adaptation of Pygmalion (1938).
A Shavian drama (his reputation was so great, he had his own adjective ascribed to his works) had a biting social critique leavened by humor. According to his Nobel Prize citation, "His ideas were those of a somewhat abstract logical radicalism; hence they were far from new, but they received from him a new definiteness and brilliance. In him these ideas combined with a ready wit, a complete absence of respect for any kind of convention, and the merriest humor - all gathered together in an extravagance which has scarcely ever before appeared in literature."
He was a major international celebrity and a force in British politics, being a charter member of the Fabian Society. The Fabians were committed to democratic socialism, that is, using parliamentary mechanisms to encourage a gradual adoption of socialist policies through political reform rather than revolution.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood
|Spouse||Charlotte Payne-Townshend (1 June 1898 - 12 September 1943) (her death)|
With that exception, until 1938, film versions of his plays were either unauthorized by him or had not met with his approval. He supervised, wrote the screenplays for, and had creative control over three film versions of his plays-- the Pygmalion (1938), the Major Barbara (1941), and the Caesar and Cleopatra (1945). He agreed to cut some of the dialogue for the "Pygmalion", and it turned out to be the most cinematic of the three films that he was involved with, but he added entire scenes to "Major Barbara" while becoming more sensitive to the idea of having to cut his dialogue, and "Caesar and Cleopatra" was filmed intact, with only minor additions. "Caesar and Cleopatra" was the first authorized film of a Shaw play to receive some harsh criticism, but it has become a classic since its original release. Shaw also prepared a screenplay for his play, "Saint Joan", unproduced in his lifetime, but closely adapted by Graham Greene for the 1957 Otto Preminger production half a decade after Shaw's death.
Unfortunately, Shaw's system of five-year licenses, while not benefiting less high profile playwrights (and fortunately only resulting in one major lost Shaw film), inspired later copyright attorneys who used it as a template to license film clips to documentary and other film makers, making the reissue of older documentaries and films a nightmare of rights clearance issues.
Personal Quotes (70)
"A Treatise on Parents and Children," preface to Misalliance (1909).