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John Mortimer

John Mortimer

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Also Known As: Sir John Mortimer, John Clifford Mortimer Died: January 16, 2009
Born: April 21, 1923 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Hampstead, England, GB Profession: playwright, screenwriter, novelist, journalist, barrister

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

John Mortimer, world-class British writer and lawyer, brought the world some of the best television series and films of the 20th century. Mortimer attended Oxford, and after being told he was unfit to serve in World War II he began to work for the Crown Film Unit, mostly on propaganda films. He soon found work in radio, but at 25 was called to the bar where he worked on a variety of legal cases, most notably defending the publishers of "Lady Chatterley's Lover" against obscenity charges, and later the publishers of "Last Exit to Brooklyn." He worked in the courts for 30 years, and this work inspired his most famous creation, a barrister named Horace Rumpole who worked at London's Old Bailey in the series" Rumpole of the Bailey." The 42 episodes of the show based on his books ran from 1978 to 1992. Throughout his career he worked on a number of scripts for famous films, including Jack Clayton's 1961 thriller "The Innocents" and Otto Preminger's 1968 classic "Bunny Lake Is Missing," among many other films and series. Mortimer is also credited for adapting the popular 1981 mini-series "Brideshead Revisited," which was based on the heralded Evelyn Waugh novel. Though he worked consistently until the end...

John Mortimer, world-class British writer and lawyer, brought the world some of the best television series and films of the 20th century. Mortimer attended Oxford, and after being told he was unfit to serve in World War II he began to work for the Crown Film Unit, mostly on propaganda films. He soon found work in radio, but at 25 was called to the bar where he worked on a variety of legal cases, most notably defending the publishers of "Lady Chatterley's Lover" against obscenity charges, and later the publishers of "Last Exit to Brooklyn." He worked in the courts for 30 years, and this work inspired his most famous creation, a barrister named Horace Rumpole who worked at London's Old Bailey in the series" Rumpole of the Bailey." The 42 episodes of the show based on his books ran from 1978 to 1992. Throughout his career he worked on a number of scripts for famous films, including Jack Clayton's 1961 thriller "The Innocents" and Otto Preminger's 1968 classic "Bunny Lake Is Missing," among many other films and series. Mortimer is also credited for adapting the popular 1981 mini-series "Brideshead Revisited," which was based on the heralded Evelyn Waugh novel. Though he worked consistently until the end of his life, his most notable later film was the Franco Zeffirelli-directed "Tea with Mussolini." A self-proclaimed 'champagne socialist,' he wrote over 50 books, plays and screenplays throughout his lengthy, brilliant career. Mortimer died in January 2009 at the age of 85.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Rumpole and Portia (1990) Creator
5.
6.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Oscar Wilde: Wit's End (2001) Interviewee
2.
 Rumpole on Trial (1995) (Uncredited)
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Milestones close milestones

1966:
Appointed as a Queen's Counsel
1975:
Became a Master of the Bench, Inner Temple
1958:
First play, "What Shall We Tell Caroline?"
1957:
Garnered attention with third radio play, "The Dock Brief"; wrote stage adaptation in 1958
1963:
Penned the screenplay for "The Running Man"
1969:
Wrote the feature film "John and Mary"
1970:
In a well-known court case, defended the publishers of <i>Oz</i> magazine against pornography charges
1981:
Wrote the teleplay adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited"; aired in USA in 1981
1948:
Became a barrister
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Education

Harrow School: - 1937
Brasenose College, Oxford University: - 1947

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Penelope Mortimer.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Clifford Mortimer. Barrister. Mortimer reportedly based his famous character of Rumpole of the Bailey on his father; died in 1959.
mother:
Kathleen May Mortimer.
daughter:
Emily Mortimer. Actor. Born in 1972.
daughter:
Rosie Mortimer.
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Bibliography close complete biography

"Charade"
"The Summer of a Dormouse"

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