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Tom Stoppard

Tom Stoppard

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Also Known As: Tom Straussler, Sir Tom Stoppard Died:
Born: July 3, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Profession: playwright, screenwriter, director, journalist, critic

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Celebrated for his verbal acrobatics and madcap intellectual conceits, playwright Tom Stoppard was also one of the more prolific script doctors in Hollywood for decades. After bursting onto the London theatre scene in the late 1960s with his absurdist masterpiece "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," Stoppard established himself as a linguistic gymnast with farces like "Travesties" (1974) prior to addressing more serious concerns in such plays as "Night and Day' (1978). The playwright soon made a name for himself adapting literary works to film with projects like novelist Graham Greene's "The Human Factor" (1979). Eventually moving on to original script work, Stoppard collaborated on Terry Gilliam's cult classic "Brazil" (1985) and even provided uncredited work on director Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989). He received high marks with his directorial debut for the film version of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" (1990) and 25 years after his first stage hit, proved he was still a vibrant voice in the theater with the intellectual drama "Arcadia" (1993). Director John Madden's "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) earned him both mainstream success and an Academy Award....

Celebrated for his verbal acrobatics and madcap intellectual conceits, playwright Tom Stoppard was also one of the more prolific script doctors in Hollywood for decades. After bursting onto the London theatre scene in the late 1960s with his absurdist masterpiece "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead," Stoppard established himself as a linguistic gymnast with farces like "Travesties" (1974) prior to addressing more serious concerns in such plays as "Night and Day' (1978). The playwright soon made a name for himself adapting literary works to film with projects like novelist Graham Greene's "The Human Factor" (1979). Eventually moving on to original script work, Stoppard collaborated on Terry Gilliam's cult classic "Brazil" (1985) and even provided uncredited work on director Steven Spielberg's "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989). He received high marks with his directorial debut for the film version of "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" (1990) and 25 years after his first stage hit, proved he was still a vibrant voice in the theater with the intellectual drama "Arcadia" (1993). Director John Madden's "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) earned him both mainstream success and an Academy Award. The recently knighted Sir Stoppard later penned a screen version of Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" (2012) for an ambitious undertaking starring Keira Knightly in the title role. Defying easy categorization, Stoppard constantly pushed himself as an artist even as he enjoyed the fruits of his more commercial labors.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1939:
Fled Czechoslovakia with mother to live in Singapore because of Jewish heritage
1942:
Moved with mother and brother to India
1945:
After mother's remarriage, family settled in Bristol, England
1954:
Worked as journalist for <i>Western Daily Press</i> in Bristol, England
:
Wrote for the Bristol <i>Evening World</i>
:
Was a freelance reporter
1962:
Briefly associated with <i>Scene</i>, a satirical magazine conceived by Peter Cook
1963:
First play performed on British TV, "A Walk on Water"
1964:
Wrote first radio play, "The Dissolution of Dominic Boot"
1965:
First produced stage play, "The Gamblers" at Bristol's Old Vic Theatre
1967:
Breakthrough stage work, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"; produced in both London and NYC; earned first Tony Award for Best Play
1968:
First London production of "The Real Inspector Hound"; performed as part of a 1972 double-bill with his "After Magritte" in NYC
1970:
Wrote screenplay for 44-minute film "The Engagement"
1973:
Debuted as stage director with British production of "Born Yesterday"
1974:
Had successful productions of "Travesties" in London and NYC; earned second Tony Award for Best Play
1975:
First feature screenplay, Joseph Losey's "The Romantic Englishwoman"; co-wrote with Thomas Wiseman from Wiseman's novel
1978:
Adapted the screenplay for "Despair" from the work by Vladimir Nabokov
1979:
Adapted Graham Greene's novel "The Human Factor" for the screen; last film directed by Otto Preminger
1984:
Picked up third Best Play Tony for "The Real Thing"
1985:
Received Oscar nomination for his contributions to the screenplay of "Brazil," co-written with Terry Gilliam and Charles McKeown
1987:
Adapted J.G. Ballard's novel "Empire of the Sun" for the screen; directed by Steven Spielberg
1990:
Feature directorial debut, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead"
1990:
Using the language of his birth, translated Vaclav Havel's "Largo Desolato"
1990:
Adapted John Le Carre's novel "The Russia House" for the screen
1991:
Scripted Robert Benton's "Billy Bathgate"; adapted from the E.L. Doctorow novel
1993:
First production of "Arcadia" in London
1995:
NYC production of "Arcadia"; earned a Tony Award nomination for Best Play
1997:
Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II
1997:
Wrote stage play "The Invention of Love" based on the life of English poet and classical scholar A. E. Housman
1998:
Adapted Robert Parker's "Poodle Springs" as an HBO movie directed by Bob Rafelson
1998:
Co-wrote award-winning screenplay "Shakespeare in Love"
1999:
Reportedly did uncredited rewrite on Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow"
2000:
Contributed English translation of the script for the period drama "Vatel"; screened at Cannes
2001:
Penned the WWII-era spy drama "Enigma"; screened at Sundance
2001:
"The Invention of Love" opened on Broadway; earned a Tony nomination
2002:
Penned the trilogy "The Coast of Utopia," which focused on the philosophical debates in pre-revolutionary Russia between 1833 and 1866; plays entitled <i>Voyage</i>, <i>Shipwreck</i>, and <i>Salvage</i>, and totaled nine hours in length
2006:
Opened trilogy "The Coast of Utopia" on Broadway
2006:
Premiered play "Rock 'n' Roll" at the Royal Court Theatre
2007:
Reportedly did uncredited rewrite on "The Bourne Ultimatum," a film based on Robert Ludlum's best-selling novel
2007:
Saw NYC opening of "Rock 'n' Roll"; earned Tony nomination for Best Play
2012:
Returned to feature writing with adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina," directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Dolphin School: -
Pocklington School: -

Notes

"Actually, it doesn't interest me to try and simulate life in some more plausible way. There are some writers, for instance, who are far more fascinated by the differentiation of character, and I obviously have no interest in that. I'm only interested in the felicitous expression of ideas, and very often when I'm rewriting, it doesn't matter who says something--if I need those lines elsewhere I'll give them to a different character." --Tom Stoppard quoted in Vanity Fair, May 1989.

"The press loved him because he was lucid and good-looking, and his look fit in very well with the Sixties. It was not the well-dressed, well-turned-out look of the Fifties; it was a sort of challenging look. And he did resemble Mick Jagger a bit. Young people loved him. It was astounding the way the Americans took to him." --Kenneth Ewing discussing Stoppard's early playwriting career in Vanity Fair, May 1989.

"I think of myself as a theater animal instead of an intellectual animal. I love the nuts and bolts, the whole nuts and bolts of putting a play on with others. I'm a pushover for adjusting the play to the requirement of the moment. I find that part fun." --Stoppard to Los Angeles Times, April 9, 1995.

Named Commander of the British Empire in 1978

Stoppard received a 1964 Ford Foundation Grant

Awarded the Prix Italia in 1968

Stoppard received honorary degrees from Bristolin 1976, Brumel in 1979 and Leeds and Sussex, both in 1980.

Inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2000

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Jose Ingle. Magazine researcher. Married in 1965; divorced in 1972.
wife:
Miriam Stoppard. Dermatologist, medical reporter, TV personality, author. Born on May 12, 1937; Jewish; Stoppard moved in with her in 1970; married in 1972; divorced.
companion:
Felicity Kendal. Actor. Born on September 25, 1946; appeared in Stoppard's plays "Arcadia" and "Indian Ink"; no longer together.
companion:
Padma Lakshmi. Model. Indian; dated briefly.
companion:
Marie Helvin. Former model. Reportedly dated in early 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Eugene Straussler. Doctor. Jewish; worked as a doctor for a shoe company; died in enemy hands during WWII.
mother:
Martha Straussler. Born in 1911; after husband died during WWII, married British army officer Kenneth Stoppard in November 1945 in India; died in October 1996.
step-father:
Kenneth Stoppard. Army officer. Former major; met Martha Straussler when she was working in India; died in July 1997.
brother:
Peter Stoppard. Older.
half-brother:
Richard Stoppard. Born in 1949.
half-sister:
Fiona Stoppard. Born in 1955.
son:
Oliver Stoppard. Postman. Mother, Jose Ingle.
son:
Barnaby Stoppard. Director. Mother, Jose Ingle.
son:
William Stoppard. Manager. Mother, Miriam Stoppard; manages disc jockeys and music groups in England.
son:
Edmund Stoppard. Actor. Born c. 1975; mother, Miriam Stoppard; married photographer Amy Stamp in February 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Introduction Z"
"Lord Malquist and Mr. Moon"
"Conversations With Stoppard" Limelight Editions

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