Anthony Shaffer


Playwright, Screenwriter

About

Also Known As
Peter Anthony, Anthony Joshua Shaffer, Peter Anthony Shaffer
Birth Place
Liverpool, England, GB
Born
May 15, 1926
Died
November 06, 2001
Cause of Death
Heart Attack

Biography

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...

Family & Companions

Carolyn Soley
Wife
Second wife; mother of Shaffer's two daughters.
Diane Cilento
Wife
Actor. Formerly married to Sean Connery; Shaffer's third wife; survived him.

Bibliography

"So What Did You Expect"
Anthony Shaffer, Picador (2001)
"Withered Murder"
Anthony Shaffer and Peter Shaffer, Gollancz (1955)
"Woman in the Wardrobe"
Peter Anthony, Evans (1952)
"How Doth the Crocodile?"
Peter Anthony, Evans (1951)

Biography

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.

Life Events

1935

Family settled in London

1944

With twin brother, called up for non-military service; worked in coal mines in Kent and Yorkshire for three years

1951

Practiced as a barrister

1963

Had first play produced, "The Savage Parade"

1970

"Sleuth" premieres in London; later on Broadway

1971

Screenwriting debut, "Absolution" (released in 1979)

1971

Penned screenplay adaptation of novel "Mr. Forbush and the Penguins"

1972

Adapted "Sleuth" for the screen; also wrote "Frenzy" for Alfred Hitchcock

1973

Did the screenplay for the thriller "The Wicker Man"

1975

Wrote stage play "Murderer"

1978

Scripted "Death on the Nile", the first of three adaptations of Agatha Christie Hercule Poiret mysteries

1982

Returned to Broadway with "Whodunnit?"

1993

Credited with contributing story elements to "Sommersby"

Videos

Movie Clip

Frenzy (1972) - Friendship And Marriage Newly unemployed London bartender Dick (Jon Finch) encounters two clients (Madge Ryan, George Tovey) with Monica (Jean Smart, shortly before she became famous for Upstairs, Downtairs on TV), who works for his ex, counselor Brenda (Barbara Leigh-Hunt), in Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy, 1972.
Frenzy (1972) - A Good Juicy Series Of Sex Murders Fired bartender Dick (Jon Finch), down to his last few bob, is increasingly irritated, entering a London pub, Gerald Sim and Noel Johnson, the latter a doctor, are discussing the serial murderer, no doubt on behalf of director Alfred Hitchcock, early in Frenzy, 1972.
Frenzy (1972) - The Waste Products Of Our Society First shot after the credits sweeping down the Thames, Alfred Hitchcock shooting on location in London (with his cameo), John Boxer as Sir George giving a speech meant with some irony, as a murder victim is discovered, opening Frenzy, 1972, starring Jon Finch and Barry Foster.
Frenzy (1972) - Bob's Your Uncle Dick (Jon Finch) has just been fired from his barkeeping job, in Covent Garden visiting Bob (Barry Foster) who is, we learn, a better-situated customer and friend, and we’ve heard news of a serial murder in the neighborhood, early in Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy, 1972.
Frenzy (1972) - You're My Type Of Woman Barmaid Babs (Anna Massey) has just had it out with her boss when Bob (Barry Foster), whom we know to be the “Necktie Murderer,” intervenes, asking after his pal and her ex-colleague Dick, whom we know he’s trying to frame, director Alfred Hitchcock offering several remarkable shots, in Frenzy, 1972.
Evil Under The Sun (1982) - Hercules Parrot A murder on the moors sets up the entrance of Peter Ustinov in his second outing as Agatha Christie's sleuth Hercule Poirot, Richard Vernon the bemused banker employing him, in director Guy Hamilton's all-star puzzler Evil Under The Sun, 1982.
Evil Under The Sun (1982) - Far Too Many Skeletons Hotelier Maggie Smith greets Peter Ustinov as detective Poirot, before the first evening's cocktail party, with Roddy McDowall, James Mason, Sylvia Miles, Jane Birkin and others but finally dominated by Diana Rigg, in the Agatha Christie mystery Evil Under The Sun, 1982.
Evil Under The Sun (1982) - You're The Top Cole Porter music having been in the background, guests at Maggie Smith's Adriatic hotel (Sylvia Miles, James Mason, Roddy McDowall, Nicholas Clay, Jane Birkin et al, with Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot) get the full treatment from diva Diana Rigg, the credited vocalist, in the Agatha Christie whodunit Evil Under The Sun, 1982.
Wicker Man, The (1974) - Lord Summerisle Alarmed Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) is delivered to the sovereign Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee) who, in his first appearance, is happy to explain the virtues of the old gods, in The Wicker Man, 1974.
Wicker Man, The (1974) - Open, Low Country Opening title sequence and policeman Edward Woodward sailing his sea-plane off the west coast of Scotland, where The Wicker Man, 1974, will take place, with Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee.
Wicker Man, The (1974) - Rowan's Not Dead! Busting into the island dark-room, then in the library and talking, mostly, to himself, Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) suddenly gets a handle on the pagan goings-on, in The Wicker Man, 1974.
Wicker Man, The (1974) - Send A Dinghy! Testy, but not yet altogether weird, as Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives at Summerisle and encounters the harbour master (Russell Waters) and cohort, in the first dramatic scene from The Wicker Man, 1974.

Trailer

Family

Jack Shaffer
Father
Realtor.
Reka Shaffer
Mother
Peter Shaffer
Brother
Playwright, screenwriter. Twin of Anthony.
Cressida Shaffer
Daughter
Mother, Carolyn Soley.
Claudia Shaffer
Daughter
Mother Carolyn Soley.
Jason Connery
Step-Son
Actor.

Companions

Carolyn Soley
Wife
Second wife; mother of Shaffer's two daughters.
Diane Cilento
Wife
Actor. Formerly married to Sean Connery; Shaffer's third wife; survived him.

Bibliography

"So What Did You Expect"
Anthony Shaffer, Picador (2001)
"Withered Murder"
Anthony Shaffer and Peter Shaffer, Gollancz (1955)
"Woman in the Wardrobe"
Peter Anthony, Evans (1952)
"How Doth the Crocodile?"
Peter Anthony, Evans (1951)