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Jonathan Lynn

Jonathan Lynn

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Also Known As: Jonathan Adam Lynn Died:
Born: April 3, 1943 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: director, screenwriter, actor, novelist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Perhaps best known for creating and writing the award-winning British TV series "Yes, Minister" (BBC2 1980-84) and "Yes, Prime Minister" (BBC2 1986-88), Jonathan Lynn honed his comedic skills as a member of the Cambridge Circus satirical revue in the mid-1960s. After acting on the New York and London stage as well as British TV, he branched out into directing in the early '70s, staging plays in the West End, for the RSC, the NT and on Broadway. Lynn wrote the screenplay for "The Internecine Project" (1974) and made a short film, "Mick's People" (1982), before directing his first feature, the cult favorite "Clue" (1985). Lynn's subsequent work included the cross-dressing comedy "Nuns on the Run" (1990) starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane; the fish-out-of-water hit "My Cousin Vinny" (1991), which garnered an Academy Award for supporting actress Marisa Tomei; Eddie Murphy's political satire "The Distinguished Gentleman" (1992); and the action comedy "The Whole Nine Yards" (1999), starring Robert De Niro and Matthew Perry, which was #1 at the box office for 3 weeks. Lynn's West End theater debut, aged 23, was as an actor in the role of Motel the Tailor in the original London cast of "Fiddler on the...

Perhaps best known for creating and writing the award-winning British TV series "Yes, Minister" (BBC2 1980-84) and "Yes, Prime Minister" (BBC2 1986-88), Jonathan Lynn honed his comedic skills as a member of the Cambridge Circus satirical revue in the mid-1960s. After acting on the New York and London stage as well as British TV, he branched out into directing in the early '70s, staging plays in the West End, for the RSC, the NT and on Broadway. Lynn wrote the screenplay for "The Internecine Project" (1974) and made a short film, "Mick's People" (1982), before directing his first feature, the cult favorite "Clue" (1985). Lynn's subsequent work included the cross-dressing comedy "Nuns on the Run" (1990) starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane; the fish-out-of-water hit "My Cousin Vinny" (1991), which garnered an Academy Award for supporting actress Marisa Tomei; Eddie Murphy's political satire "The Distinguished Gentleman" (1992); and the action comedy "The Whole Nine Yards" (1999), starring Robert De Niro and Matthew Perry, which was #1 at the box office for 3 weeks. Lynn's West End theater debut, aged 23, was as an actor in the role of Motel the Tailor in the original London cast of "Fiddler on the Roof. " His subsequent London directing credits include: "The Glass Menagerie"; "Songbook" (Best Musical, Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award); "Anna Christie" (RSC, Stratford and the Donmar); Joe Orton's "Loot"; "Pass The Butler" by Eric Idle, Shawâ¿¿s "Arms And The Man" and "The Gingerbread Man" (Old Vic). At the National Theatre, he directed "A Little Hotel on the Side" by Georges Feydeau and Three Men on A Horse (Olivier Award, Best Comedy). As Artistic Director of the Cambridge Theatre Company, he directed 20 productions, producing 20 others, 9 of which transferred to the West End. His numerous awards include the BAFTA Writers Award, Writers Guild (twice), Broadcasting Press Guild (twice), NAACP Image Award, Environmental Media Award, Ace Award â¿¿Best Comedy Series on US cable, and a Special award from the Campaign For Freedom of Information.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Wild Target (2010)
2.
3.
4.
  Whole Nine Yards, The (2000) Director
5.
  Trial and Error (1997) Director
6.
  Sgt. Bilko (1996) Director
7.
  Greedy (1994) Director
8.
9.
  My Cousin Vinny (1992) Director
10.
  Nuns On The Run (1990) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Greedy (1994) Douglas
2.
 3 Men and a Little Lady (1990) Vicar Hewitt
3.
 Into The Night (1985) Tailor
4.
 Breaking Glass (1980) Radio Dj
6.
 Prudence and the Pill (1968) Chemist's assistant
7.
 Suspicion (1988) Beaky
8.
 Bar Mitzvah Boy (1977)
9.
 Cambridge Circus (1965) Regular
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Milestones close milestones

1964:
Began career as an actor with revue troupe Cambridge Circus, performing in New York
1964:
Appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show"
1965:
Was writer and cast member of syndicated TV series, "Cambridge Circus"
:
Acted in repertory in Lecester, Edinburgh and with the Bristol Old Vic in London
:
Appeared on stage in "Green Julia" (1965), "Fiddler on the Roof" (1967-68), "Blue Comedy" (1968), "The Comedy of the Changing Years" (1969), "When We Are Married" (1970)
1970:
Stage directing debut "The Plotters of the Cabbage Patch Corner"
1974:
Wrote first TV script for the situation comedy, "My Brother's Keeper" (also co-starred)
1974:
Wrote first feature screenplay for "The Internecine Project"
1977:
Served as artistic director of the Cambridge Theatre Company
1980:
RSC directing debut, "Anna Christie"
:
Writer for the TV and radio programs, "Yes, Minister"
1981:
Broadway directing debut, "The Moony Shapiro Songbook"
:
Directed the British TV movies: "Barmitzvah Boy" (1975), "The Knowledge" (1979), "Outside Edge" (1982), "Diana" (1984)
1982:
Short film directing debut, "Mick's People"
1985:
Feature directing debut (also writer) "Clue"
1988:
Appeared in "Three Men and a Little Lady"
1990:
Directed the pilot/premiere episode of TV series, "Ferris Bueller"
1992:
Helmed the Eddie Murphy vehicle "The Distinguished Gentleman"
1994:
Directed "Greedy", a comedy starring Kirk Douglas
1996:
Helmed the big screen version of the 1950s TV show "Sgt. Bilko", starring Steve Martin
1997:
Produced and directed the comedy "Trial and Error"
2000:
Helmed "The Whole Nine Yards", starring Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry
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Education

Pembroke College, University of Cambridge: - 1964

Notes

Lynn received a honorary MA from Sheffield University.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Rita Merkelis. Married in 1967.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robin Lynn.
mother:
Ruth Lynn.
son:
Edward Lynn. Producer. Born c. 1973.

Bibliography close complete biography

"A Proper Man"
"The Complete Yes Minister"
"Yes, Prime Minister, the Diaries of the Rt. Hon. James Hacker, vol. I"
"Yes, Prime Minister, the Diaries of the Rt. Hon. James Hacker, vol. II"
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