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Ronald Harwood

Ronald Harwood

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Also Known As: Sir Ronald Harwood, Ronald Horwitz Died:
Born: November 9, 1934 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: South Africa Profession: screenwriter, playwright, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A distinguished writer of plays, novels, short stories, non-fiction, and screenplays, Ronald Harwood earned a reputation for intelligent literary adaptations that often drew from his own works. Though he had a long and fruitful career, Harwood came to prominence late in life by winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Roman Polanski's extraordinary film, "The Pianist" (2002), which depicted Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's survival in Nazi occupied Warsaw. Previously he earned Academy attention with the adaptation of his own play, "The Dresser" (1983), which drew upon his own experiences as a personal assistant to aging actor Sir Donald Wolfit in the 1950s. Harwood later brought recognition to the struggle of apartheid with his biopic on "Mandela" (HBO, 1987) and later with his adaptation of "Cry, the Beloved Country" (1995). After "The Pianist," he delivered notable adaptations of W. Somerset Maugham's "Being Julia" (2003) and Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (2005), before writing an extraordinary adaptation of debilitated editor Jean Dominique-Bauby's memoir, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007). While most writers saw their best work earlier in life, Harwood improved...

A distinguished writer of plays, novels, short stories, non-fiction, and screenplays, Ronald Harwood earned a reputation for intelligent literary adaptations that often drew from his own works. Though he had a long and fruitful career, Harwood came to prominence late in life by winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Roman Polanski's extraordinary film, "The Pianist" (2002), which depicted Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's survival in Nazi occupied Warsaw. Previously he earned Academy attention with the adaptation of his own play, "The Dresser" (1983), which drew upon his own experiences as a personal assistant to aging actor Sir Donald Wolfit in the 1950s. Harwood later brought recognition to the struggle of apartheid with his biopic on "Mandela" (HBO, 1987) and later with his adaptation of "Cry, the Beloved Country" (1995). After "The Pianist," he delivered notable adaptations of W. Somerset Maugham's "Being Julia" (2003) and Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (2005), before writing an extraordinary adaptation of debilitated editor Jean Dominique-Bauby's memoir, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007). While most writers saw their best work earlier in life, Harwood improved exponentially with age on his way to becoming one of the literary world's most celebrated and prolific scribes.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1953:
Joined Donald Wolfit's Shakespeare Company as Sir Donald's personal dresser
1955:
As actor, appeared in "The Strong Are Lonely"
1960:
Co-wrote "The Barber of Stamford Hill" for TV
1961:
Published first novel <i>All the Same Shadows</i>
1963:
Wrote first produced screenplay "The Barber of Stamford Hill"
1969:
Wrote first produced play "Country Matters"
1971:
Wrote screenplay for "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich"
1973:
Hosted radio series "Kaleidoscope"
1973:
Member of literature panel, Arts Council of Great Britain
1975:
Served as artistic director of Cheltenham Festival of Literature
1978:
Hosted TV series "Read All About It" (BBC)
1980:
"The Dresser" premiered in London
1981:
Broadway debut as author, "The Dresser"
1981:
Wrote NBC movie "Evita Peron," starring Faye Dunaway
1983:
Adapted "The Dresser" for features; earned Oscar nomination for screenplay; also produced
1984:
Wrote British series "All the World's a Stage"
1986:
Was visitor in theatre, Balliol College, Oxford University
1987:
Wrote HBO original movie "Mandela"
1995:
Penned adaptation of "Cry, the Beloved Country"
1996:
Play "Taking Sides" produced on Broadway
2001:
Wrote screenplay adaptation of play "Taking Sides"; screened at Toronto Film Festival
2001:
Premiered new play "Mahler's Conversion," about the composer's religious conversion from Judaism to Catholicism; Antony Sher starred as Mahler
2002:
With director Roman Polanski, co-wrote screenplay for "The Pianist"; received BAFTA and Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay (Adapted)
2004:
Penned screenplay for "Being Julia," starring Annette Bening and Jeremy Irons
2005:
Penned Roman Polanski directed version of "Oliver Twist," starring Ben Kingsley
2007:
Wrote feature adaptation of "Love in the Time of Cholera," directed by Mike Newell
2007:
Wrote screenplay adaption for "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," based on the French memoir <i>Le scaphandre et le papillon</i> by Jean-Dominique Bauby; earned Golden Globe, Oscar and Independent Spirit Award Nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay
2008:
Co-wrote screenplay of Baz Luhrmann's epic "Australia"
2012:
Adapted his own play for screenplay of Dustin Hoffman's feature directorial debut "Quartet"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art: London , England - 1952

Notes

Made Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1998

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Natasha Riehle. Married in 1959.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Isaac Horwitz.
mother:
Isobel Horwitz.
son:
Anthony Harwood.
daughter:
Deborah Harwood.
daughter:
Alexandra Harwood. Composer. Studied at UCLA 1989.
cousin:
Antony Sher. Actor, author. Son of Isobel Horwitz's sister Marjorie.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"All the Same Shadows" Jonathan Cape
"The Guilt Merchants" Jonathan Cape
"The Girl in Melanie Klein" Secker & Warburg
"Sir Donald Wolfit, C.B.E. - His Life and Work in the Unfashionable Theatre Secker & Warburg
"Articles of Faith" Secker & Warburg
"The Genoa Ferry" Secker & Warburg
"Cesar and Augusta" Secker & Warburg
"One.Interior.Day.-- Adventures in the Film Trade" Secker & Warburg
"New Stories 3" Hutchinson
"A Night at the Theatre" Methuen
"All the World's a Stage" Secker & Warburg
"The Ages of Gielgud: An Actor at Eighty" Hodder & Stoughton
"Dear Alec"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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