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John Hopkins

John Hopkins

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Also Known As: John Richard Hopkins, John R Hopkins Died: July 23, 1998
Born: January 27, 1931 Cause of Death: head injury from a fall
Birth Place: London, England, GB Profession: screenwriter, playwright, director, studio manager

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

As writer of the realistic police drama "Z Cars" (BBC), a forerunner of gritty, realistic TV shows, John Hopkins earned both popular and critical acclaim. A prolific screenwriter and playwright, he studied literature at Cambridge before being introduced into show business by his then father-in-law, author Nigel Balchin, who approached him to adapt his novel "A Small Back Room" for the small screen. While an adept writer, Hopkins lacked the drive to produce much material. This changed in 1962 when he was offered "Z Cars", where he faced the deadlines and pressure that forced him to deliver. Hopkins wrote fifty-seven episodes of the series, while also writing screenplays for films such as the 1965 James Bond hit "Thunderball", doing other TV work, and simultaneously writing stage plays.

As writer of the realistic police drama "Z Cars" (BBC), a forerunner of gritty, realistic TV shows, John Hopkins earned both popular and critical acclaim. A prolific screenwriter and playwright, he studied literature at Cambridge before being introduced into show business by his then father-in-law, author Nigel Balchin, who approached him to adapt his novel "A Small Back Room" for the small screen. While an adept writer, Hopkins lacked the drive to produce much material. This changed in 1962 when he was offered "Z Cars", where he faced the deadlines and pressure that forced him to deliver. Hopkins wrote fifty-seven episodes of the series, while also writing screenplays for films such as the 1965 James Bond hit "Thunderball", doing other TV work, and simultaneously writing stage plays.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Torment (1986) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Ned Kelly (1970) O'Connor
2.
 A Gentleman Preferred (1928) Kent Carlington
3.
 The Charge of the Gauchos (1928) Lezica
4.
 Unrestrained Youth (1925) Fred Whitney
5.
 Loyal Lives (1923) Judkins
6.
 The Prophet's Paradise (1922) Kranda
7.
 The Dead Line (1920) Buck Gomery
8.
 A Manhattan Knight (1920) Crook butler
9.
 The Inn of the Blue Moon (1918) Jeb Robbins
10.
 Wild Honey (1918) Joe Stacey
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Got start when father-in-law, author Nigel Balchin asked him to adapt his novel "A Small Back Room" for television
1962:
Wrote fifty-seven episodes of the realistic police drama "Z Cars" (BBC)
1965:
Wrote the screenplay for the James Bond film "Thunderball" along with Richard Maibaum
1966:
BBC-2 aired his four part award-winning drama "Talking to a Stranger" starring Judi Dench
1967:
Met future wife Shirley Knight at a meeting discussing an American remake of his quartet of plays "Talking to a Stranger"
1968:
His first play "This Story of Yours", dealing with the moral downfall of a police sergeant, was performed in London at the Royal Court
1969:
Wrote the screenplay for "The Virgin Soldiers", a war comedy starring Lynn Redgrave
1970:
Play "Find Your Way Home" played at Open Space, London
1972:
Married actress Shirley Knight; moved to the USA
1973:
Scripted the ABC TV-movie "Divorce His/Divorce Hers", starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton
1973:
Wrote the screenplay for "The Offense", a Sidney Lumet drama starring Sean Connery and Trevor Howard
1974:
"Next of Kin" played the National Theatre, London
1974:
"Find Your Way Home" produced at Broadway's Brooks Atkinson Theatre, starring Michael Moriarty
1979:
Wrote the screenplay for the Sherlock Holmes/Jack the Ripper film "Murder By Decree", starring Christopher Plummer and James Mason
1979:
His play "Losing Time" is produced by the Manhattan Theatre Club starring wife Shirley Knight
1980:
Adapted John LeCarre's novel "Smiley's People" for the BBC as a miniseries starring Alec Guinness
1985:
Wrote the screenplay for the John Frankenheimer thriller "The Holcroft Covenant", starring Michael Caine
1986:
Directed and wrote the psychodrama "Torment"
1996:
Won the Humanitas Award and a PEN Center West literary award for the screenplay "Hiroshima", a docudrama chronicling the events leading up to the atomic bomb attack on Japan aired on the Showtime cable network
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St Catharine's College, University of Cambridge: -
Raynes Park Grammar School: -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Prudence Balchin. Daughter of novelist Nigel Balchin; mother of Hopkins son and daughter Justine; divorced.
wife:
Shirley Knight. Actor. Married in 1972; mother of Sophie Hopkins; survived him.

Family close complete family listing

brother:
Arthur Hopkins. Survived him.
daughter:
Justine Hopkins. Mother, Prudence Balchin; survived him.
daughter:
Sophie Hopkins. Mother, Shirley Knight; survived him.
step-daughter:
Kaitlin Hopkins. Actor. Mother, Shirley Knight; survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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