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William Nicholson

William Nicholson

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Also Known As: Bill Nicholson Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: England, GB Profession: screenwriter, playwright, director, documentarian

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A highly regarded screenwriter as well as novelist and playwright, William Nicholson earned Oscar nominations for "Shadowlands" (1993) and "Gladiator" (2000), as well as major television award nominations for "A Private Matter" (HBO, 1992) and "Crime of the Century" (HBO, 1996) while enjoying a string of best-selling novels for young and adult readers, including the popular Wind on Fire (2000-2002) trilogy. His Catholic education informed many of his screen projects, which frequently dealt with issues of faith and spiritual identity with a non-secular context; the depth and emotional honesty of his writing reaped numerous awards on both sides of the Atlantic, though Nicholson's attempt to launch a directing career with 1997's "Firelight" was largely ignored. He turned to novel writing with the Wind on Fire series, which became worldwide favorites among young readers. Nicholson subsequently divided his time between novels, Tony-nominated plays like "The Retreat from Moscow" (2004), and feature films, which soon included "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (2007) and the film version of "Les Misérables" (2012). The quality of William Nicholson's body of written work made him among the most celebrated writers...

A highly regarded screenwriter as well as novelist and playwright, William Nicholson earned Oscar nominations for "Shadowlands" (1993) and "Gladiator" (2000), as well as major television award nominations for "A Private Matter" (HBO, 1992) and "Crime of the Century" (HBO, 1996) while enjoying a string of best-selling novels for young and adult readers, including the popular Wind on Fire (2000-2002) trilogy. His Catholic education informed many of his screen projects, which frequently dealt with issues of faith and spiritual identity with a non-secular context; the depth and emotional honesty of his writing reaped numerous awards on both sides of the Atlantic, though Nicholson's attempt to launch a directing career with 1997's "Firelight" was largely ignored. He turned to novel writing with the Wind on Fire series, which became worldwide favorites among young readers. Nicholson subsequently divided his time between novels, Tony-nominated plays like "The Retreat from Moscow" (2004), and feature films, which soon included "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" (2007) and the film version of "Les Misérables" (2012). The quality of William Nicholson's body of written work made him among the most celebrated writers in multiple mediums.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Firelight (1997) Director

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Joined BBC's graduate trainee program after graduation from Cambridge
:
From mid-1970s to mid-1980s, produced and/or wrote more than 40 documentaries for the BBC
1985:
Wrote BBC drama "Shadowlands," starring Claire Bloom and Joss Ackland
1986:
First feature screenplay, "New World"
1987:
Scripted TV drama "Life Story" (BBC); aired in U.S. as "Double Helix/The Search for the Double Helix" on A&E
1989:
Adapted "Shadowlands" for the stage; produced in London and NYC, starring Nigel Hawthorne
1992:
Wrote film version of the South African musical "Sarafina!"
1992:
Scripted the HBO TV-movie "A Private Matter"
1993:
Wrote feature adaptation of "Shadowlands," starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger; earned Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay
1994:
Co-wrote (with playwright Mark Handley) the screenplay for "Nell"
1996:
Scripted the HBO TV-movie "Crime of the Century" about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping case; garnered Emmy nomination
1998:
Feature directorial debut, "Firelight"; also wrote screenplay
1999:
Reteamed with Attenborough to pen "Grey Owl"
2000:
Contributed to the script of "Gladiator"; shared Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination
2007:
Co-penned "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," a sequel to the award-winning feature "Elizabeth" (1998)
2009:
Wrote and directed short film "Strife"
2012:
Wrote screenplay for feature adaptation of popular musical drama "Les Misérables," directed by Tom Hooper
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Christ's College, University of Cambridge: -

Notes

"I was so intrigued with the idea of this wild woman/child. When we first meet Nell, we feel she is deprived, but maybe it is we who are deprived. Who is to say that someone who lives alone without all of the conveniences of modern society must be unhappy?" --William Nicholson

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Virginia Nicholson. Married c. 1988.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Edmund Nicholson.

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