Playwright and screenwriter Peter Barnes was raised on the east coast of England. It was there, in the atmosphere of resorts and carnivals, that he fashioned his highly stylized approach to drama and history. He began as a film critic and editor in the 1950s, graduating to television, features, and plays in the 1960s, when his credits included mostly crime dramas like "The Professionals," "The White Trap," and "The Devil Inside." It was his 1968 play, the comedy"The Ruling Class," that made his name, however. Barnes adapted it for the big screen in 1972, with Peter O'Toole giving a noteworthy performance in the lead role of an heir who believes he is Jesus Christ. This was to begin Barnes's rather absurdist approach that he overlaid in his writing onto historical figures. Notable personages he gave this treatment to include Leonardo da Vinci, King of Spain Carlos II, and Ivan the Terrible. Later in life he settled into television writing, mostly adaptations like the fantastic adventure "Alice in Wonderland," the supernatural holiday drama "A Christmas Carol," and his Oscar-nominated drama "Enchanted April." His final play, "Babies," was a semi-autobiographical piece based on his becoming a father for the first time at the age of 69. Sadly, Barens passed away shortly after at the age 73 from a stroke.