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Overview for Dennis Potter
Dennis Potter

Dennis Potter


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Also Known As: Died: June 7, 1994
Born: May 17, 1935 Cause of Death: pancreatic and liver cancer
Birth Place: Gloucester, England, GB Profession: Writer ...


"I'm not interested in naturalistic cinema which is basically what most cinema is--like looking through a window. I think it should be about that little theater on your shoulders. Past and present jostle in you all the time: You are what you have been and what you want to be." --Dennis Potter in New York Post, February 12, 1992.

"I despise autobiography. I used the surface details--places, knowledge of myself--to make it feel as if it's nearly autobiographical, but it isn't." --Dennis Potter in New York Post, February 12, 1992.

The iconoclastic Potter, in typical form, on the subject of religion:

"God's a rumor, if you like. Christianity or indeed any other religion that is a religion because of fear of death or hope that there is something beyond death does not interest me. What kind of cruel old bugger is God if it's terror that is the ruling edifice, the structure of religion? And too often, for too many people, it is. Now that to me isn't religion ... Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage. I don't see the point of not acknowledging the pain and the misery and the grief of the world, and if you say, 'Ah, but God understands' or through that you come to a greater appreciation, I then think, 'That's not God, that's not my God, that's now how I see God.' I see God ... if I see God at all, as shreds and particles and rumors, some knowledge that we have, some feeling why we sing and dance, and act, why we paint, why we love, why make art." --From his last interview in The New York Times, June 12, 1994.

Speaking about Potter after his death, with his last completed works for TV, "Karaoke" and "Cold Lazarus", having moved into pre-production, David Bianculli of the Daily News (June 8, 1994) wrote: "Regardless of the eventual quality of those final two works, Potter already deserves acknowledgment as the finest TV writer in history. Not just in England, or even of his generation, but ever. Better, even, than Paddy Chayefsky or Rod Serling."

From his mid-20s Potter had suffered from inherited psoriatic arthropathy, a devastating recurring illness that seems to boil the skin and meld the joints and incite the fevered delirium experienced by "The Singing Detective" during his hallucinatory interludes.

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