Family & Companions
A leading British playwright and screenwriter noted for his elaborate plots, Shaffer is perhaps best remembered for "Sleuth" (1972), adapted from his Tony-winning play and starring Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier.
After receiving his degree from Cambridge, Shaffer and his twin brother Peter co-authored two novels under the pseudonym Peter Anthony before each carved out a niche on stage and in films. His first play, "The Savage Parade" was produced in 1963. Shaffer segued to features with "Mr. Forbush and the Penguins/Cry of the Penguins" (1971), a drama about a young biologist in the Antarctic. In addition to "Sleuth," about a mystery writer leading his wife's lover into a diabolical trap, other Shaffer screenplays include Alfred Hitchcock's "Frenzy" (1972), about an innocent man suspected of being a serial killer, the eerie thriller "The Wicker Man" (1973) and three adaptation of Agatha Christie mysteries, "Death on the Nile" (1978), "Evil Under the Sun" (1982) and "Appointment with Death" (1988), all starring Peter Ustinov as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. In 1993, Shaffer co-wrote the story adaptation for "Sommersby," based on the French "Le Retourne de Martin Guerre," about a man who comes back from war, but is impersonating another man.
Writer (Feature Film)
Misc. Crew (Feature Film)
Family settled in London
With twin brother, called up for non-military service; worked in coal mines in Kent and Yorkshire for three years
Practiced as a barrister
Had first play produced, "The Savage Parade"
"Sleuth" premieres in London; later on Broadway
Screenwriting debut, "Absolution" (released in 1979)
Penned screenplay adaptation of novel "Mr. Forbush and the Penguins"
Adapted "Sleuth" for the screen; also wrote "Frenzy" for Alfred Hitchcock
Did the screenplay for the thriller "The Wicker Man"
Wrote stage play "Murderer"
Scripted "Death on the Nile", the first of three adaptations of Agatha Christie Hercule Poiret mysteries
Returned to Broadway with "Whodunnit?"
Credited with contributing story elements to "Sommersby"