John Mortimer Biography (1923-)

Full name, John Clifford Mortimer; born April 21, 1923, in Hampstead, London,England; son of Clifford (a barrister) and Kathleen May (maiden name, Smith)Mortimer; married Penelope Ruth Fletcher (some sources cite Penelope Dimont;a writer), 1949 (divorced, 1972); married Penelope Gollop, 1972; children: (first marriage) Sally (a writer), Jeremy; (second marriage) Emily, Rosamond;stepchildren: Madelon Lee, Caroline, Julia, Deborah.

Nationality
British
Gender
Male
Occupation
Writer
Birth Details
April 21, 1923
London, United Kingdom

Famous Works

  • CREDITS
  • Film Work
  • Associate Producer
  • Lunch Hour, London Films, 1962
  • Television Appearances
  • Miniseries
  • Himself, The Lives and Loves of a She Devil (also known as SheDevil), BBC, 1986 then Arts and Entertainment, 1987
  • Specials
  • The Alistair Cooke Salute, PBS, 1992
  • "Rumpole on Trial," Rumpole of the Bailey, Series VII, Thames Television, c. 1995 broadcast on Mystery!, PBS.
  • WRITINGS
  • Stage Plays
  • The Dock Brief (based on his radio play) [and] What Shall We Tell Caroline? (double-bill), produced at Lyric Opera House, Hammersmith, England, then Garrick Theatre, London, 1958 later New York City, 1961 both published in Three Plays, Elek (London), 1958 and in Five Plays (The Dock Brief also published in Plays).
  • I Spy, produced at Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury, England, then Palm Beach, FL, both 1959 published in Three Plays, Elek, 1958 and in Five Plays.
  • The Wrong Side of the Park, produced at Cambridge Theatre, then St. Martin's Theatre, London, 1960 published by Heinemann (London), 1960
  • Lunch Hour, produced at Salisbury Playhouse, 1960 then Criterion Theatre, London, 1961 published by Samuel French (New York City), 1961 and inLunch Hour and Other Plays and Plays.
  • Collect Your Hand Baggage, produced at London Academy of Music andDramatic Art, London, 1962 published by Samuel French, 1960 and in LunchHour and Other Plays and Five Plays.
  • Two Stars for Comfort, produced at Garrick Theatre, 1962 publishedby Methuen (London), 1962 and in Plays.
  • The Judge, produced at Deutsches Schauspielhaus, Hamburg, West Germany (now Germany), then London and Cambridge Theatre, 1967 published by Methuen, 1967 and in Plays.
  • Call Me a Liar (based on his television play), produced in London,1968 published in Lunch Hour and Other Plays and in The TelevisionPlaywright: Ten Plays for BBC Television, edited by Michael Barry, Hill& Wang (New York City), 1960
  • Come As You Are (contains Bermondsey, Gloucester Road, Marble Arch, and Mill Hill), produced at New Theatre, London, 1970 published as Come As You Are: Four Short Plays, Methuen, 1971 and in Plays.
  • A Voyage 'round My Father (based on his radio play), produced at Greenwich Theatre, 1970 then Haymarket Theatre Royal, London, 1971 published by Methuen, 1971 and in Plays.
  • (With others) Conflicts, produced in London, 1971
  • Collaborators, produced at Duchess Theatre, London, 1973 publishedby Eyre Methuen (London), 1973 and in Plays.
  • The Bells of Hell (revised version of The Prince of Darkness), produced in Richmond, England, then Garrick Theatre, 1977 published by Samuel French, 1978
  • Heaven and Hell (contains The Fear of Heaven [based on hisradio play Mr. Luby's Fear of Heaven], published by Samuel French, 1978 and in Edwin and Other Plays, and The Prince of Darkness, published in Edwin and Other Plays), produced at Greenwich Theatre, 1977
  • John Mortimer's Casebook (includes The Dock Brief, Interlude, and The Prince of Darkness), produced at Young Vic Theatre,London, 1982
  • When That I Was, produced at Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada,1982
  • Contributor of Sketches
  • One to Another, produced in London, 1959 published by Samuel French (London), 1960
  • One over the Eight, produced in London, 1961
  • Changing Gear, produced in Nottingham, England, 1965
  • Adaptor
  • I, Claudius (based on the novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God by Robert Graves), produced at Queen's Theatre, London, 1972
  • A Christmas Carol (based on the novel by Charles Dickens), produced by Royal Shakespeare Company, 1994 published as Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Samuel French (New York City and London), 1995
  • Translator
  • A Flea in Her Ear (based on the play by Georges-Leon-Jules-Marie Feydeau), produced at National Theatre Company, Old Vic Theatre, London, 1966then Tucson, AZ, 1979 published by Samuel French (London), 1968 and in Three Boulevard Farces.
  • Cat among the Pigeons (based on the play by Georges-Leon-Jules-Marie Feydeau), produced at Prince of Wales Theatre, London, 1969 then MilwaukeeRepertory Theatre, Milwaukee, WI, 1971 published by Samuel French, 1970
  • The Captain of Koepenick (based on a play by Carl Zuckmayer), produced by National Theatre Company, Old Vic Theatre, 1971 published by Methuen,1971
  • The Lady from Maxim's (based on the play by Georges-Leon-Jules-Marie Feydeau), produced by National Theatre Company, Lyttleton Theatre, London,1977 published by Heinemann, 1977 and in Three Boulevard Farces.
  • A Little Hotel on the Side (based on the play by Georges-Leon-Jules-Marie Feydeau and Maurice Desvalliers), produced by National Theatre Company, Olivier Theatre, London, 1984 then Belasco Theatre, New York City, 1992 published in Three Boulevard Farces.
  • Die Fledermaus (based on a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halevy), music by Johann Straus, produced in London, 1989 published by Viking,1989
  • Screenplays
  • (With Lewis Gilbert and Vernon Harris) Ferry to Hong Kong, J. Arthur Rank, 1959
  • (With Truman Capote and William Archibald) The Innocents, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1961
  • Guns of Darkness, Warner Bros., 1962
  • (With others) I Thank a Fool, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1962
  • Lunch Hour (based on his play), London Films, 1962
  • The Running Man (also known as Carol Reed's The Running Man), Columbia, 1963
  • (With Penelope Mortimer) Bunny Lake Is Missing, Columbia, 1965
  • A Flea in Her Ear (also known as La puce a l'oreille), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1968
  • John and Mary, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1969
  • Maschenka (also known as Mashenka), 1987
  • Tea with Mussolini (also known as Un te con Mussolini), G2Films, 1999
  • Teleplays
  • Series
  • (With others) BBC-3, BBC, 1965-1966
  • Rumpole of the Bailey, Thames Television, 1978-1979 1983 1987-19881991 and 1992 broadcast as episodes of the series Mystery!, PBS, beginning in 1984
  • Rumpole of the Bailey, Series VI, Thames Television, c. 1993 broadcast on Mystery!, PBS.
  • Rumpole of the Bailey, Series VII, Thames Television, c. 1995 broadcast on Mystery!, PBS.
  • Miniseries
  • Will Shakespeare (adapted from his novel), Associated Television,1978
  • Brideshead Revisited (based on a novel by Evelyn Waugh), Granada Television, then PBS, 1981
  • Paradise Postponed (adapted from his novel), Thames Television, 1986
  • (With Colin Rogers and Martyn Friend) Summer's Lease (adapted fromhis novel), BBC, 1989 then PBS, 1989 and 1991
  • "Titmuss Regained" (adapted from his novel), Masterpiece Theatre,PBS, 1992
  • Movies
  • Don Quixote (based on the novel by Miguel de Cervantes), TNT, 2000
  • Love and War in the Appenines, 2000
  • Specials
  • Home (ballet), 1968
  • "Rumple of the Bailey," Play for Today (also known as Play forToday: Rumpole of the Bailey), BBC, 1975
  • Rumpole's Return, Thames Television, 1980
  • Rumpole and the Age of Miracles, 1989
  • Rumpole and Portia, 1990
  • Rumpole and the Quality of Life, 1990
  • Cider with Rosie (based on a book by Laurie Lee), PBS, 1998
  • Specials; Plays
  • Call Me a Liar, BBC, 1958
  • David and Broccoli, BBC, 1960 published in Lunch Hour and OtherPlays.
  • The Encyclopaedist, BBC, 1961
  • The Exploding Azalea, Thames Television, 1966
  • The Head Waiter (also known as Wednesday Play: The Head Waiter), BBC, 1966
  • The Choice of Kings, Associated Rediffusion, 1966 published in Playbill Three, edited by Alan Durbrand, Hutchinson (London), 1969
  • Hughie, 1967
  • The Other Side, BBC, 1967
  • Infidelity Took Place, BBC, 1968
  • Desmond, BBC, 1968 published in The Best Short Plays 1971,edited by Stanley Richards, Chilton (Philadelphia, PA), 1971
  • Married Alive, CBS, 1970
  • Only Three Can Play, Independent Broadcasting Authority, 1970
  • Alcock and Gander, Thames Television, 1972
  • Kings Cross (also known as Thirty-Minute Theatre: Kings Cross--Lunch Hour), 1972
  • Swiss Cottage, BBC, 1972
  • Knightsbridge, BBC, 1972 published by Samuel French (New York City), 1973
  • Unity (based on a book by David Pryce-Jones), BBC, 1978
  • A Voyage 'round My Father (adapted from his radio play), BBC, 1982
  • The Ebony Tower (based on a story by John Fowles), 1984
  • Specials; Adaptations of Stories by Graham Greene
  • The Blue Film, Thames Television, between 1975 and 1976
  • The Case for the Defense, Thames Television, between 1975 and 1976
  • Chagrin in Three Parts, Thames Television, between 1975 and 1976
  • The Destructors, Thames Television, between 1975 and 1976
  • The Invisible Japanese Gentlemen, Thames Television, between 1975and 1976
  • A Little Place Off Edgware Road, Thames Television, between 1975 and 1976
  • Mortmain, Thames Television, between 1975 and 1976
  • Special Duties, Thames Television, between 1975 and 1976
  • Other Teleplays
  • Ett Svaart fall, 1962
  • Hampton Court (adaptation of Son et Lumiere script), 1964
  • Brighton Pavilion (adaptation of Son et Lumiere script), 1965
  • Reci da sam lazov, 1965
  • Edwin, 1984
  • The Waiting Room, 1989
  • Radio Plays
  • Like Men Betrayed (adaptation of his novel), BBC, 1955
  • No Hero, BBC, 1955
  • The Dock Brief, BBC, 1957
  • I Spy, 1957
  • Three Winters (adaptation of his novel), BBC, 1958
  • Lunch Hour (based on his stage play), 1960
  • The Encyclopaedist, 1961
  • A Voyage 'round My Father, BBC, 1963
  • Education of an Englishman, BBC, 1964
  • Personality Split, BBC, 1964
  • A Rare Device, BBC, 1965
  • Mr. Luby's Fear of Heaven, BBC, 1976
  • Edwin, 1982 published in Edwin and Other Plays.
  • Glasnost, 1988
  • Rumpole (based on his own stories), 1988
  • Play Collections
  • Three Plays (contains The Dock Brief, I Spy, and What Shall We Tell Caroline?), Elek (London), 1958 Grove Press (New YorkCity), 1962
  • Lunch Hour and Other Plays (contains Call Me a Liar, Collect Your Hand Baggage, and David and Broccoli), Methuen (London),1960
  • Five Plays (contains Collect Your Hand Baggage, The DockBrief, I Spy, Lunch Hour, and What Shall We Tell Caroline?), Methuen, 1970
  • Edwin and Other Plays (contains Bermondsey, Edwin, The Fear of Heaven, Marble Arch, and The Prince of Darkness), Penguin, 1984
  • Three Boulevard Farces (contains A Flea in Her Ear, TheLady from Maxim's, and A Little Hotel on the Side), Penguin, 1985
  • Plays (contains Collaborators, The Dock Brief, The Judge, Two Stars for Comfort, and Voyage 'round My Father), 1989
  • Novels
  • Charade, Lane, 1948 Viking (New York City), 1986
  • Rumming Park, Lane, 1949
  • Silver Hook, Morrow (New York City), 1950 published in England asAnswer Yes or No, Lane, 1950
  • Like Men Betrayed, Collins, 1953 Lippincott (Philadelphia, PA), 1954
  • Three Winters, Collins, 1956
  • The Narrowing Stream, Collins, 1956 Viking, 1989
  • Will Shakespeare, Hodder & Stoughton, 1977 published as Will Shakespeare: The Untold Story, Delacorte (New York City), 1978
  • Paradise Postponed, Viking, 1986
  • Summer's Lease, Viking, 1988
  • Titmuss Regained, Viking, 1990
  • Dunster, Viking, 1993
  • Paradise Postponed: The Rapstone Chronicles (includes ParadisePostponed and Titmuss Regained), Penguin, 1993
  • Felix in the Underworld, Viking, 1997
  • The Sound of Trumpets, Viking, 1998
  • Short Story Collections
  • Rumpole of the Bailey, Penguin (London), 1978
  • The Trials of Rumpole, Penguin, 1979
  • Rumpole, Allen Lane (London), 1980
  • Rumpole's Return, Penguin, 1980
  • Regina v. Rumpole, Allen Lane (London), 1981
  • Rumpole for the Defence, Penguin, 1982
  • A First Rumpole Omnibus (contains Rumpole of the Bailey, Rumpole's Return, and The Trials of Rumpole), Penguin, 1983
  • Rumpole and the Golden Thread, Penguin, 1983
  • Rumpole's Last Case, Penguin, 1987
  • The Second Rumpole Omnibus (contains Rumpole and the Golden Thread, Rumpole for the Defence, and Rumpole's Last Case), Viking (London), 1987 Penguin (New York City), 1988
  • Rumpole and the Age of Miracles, Penguin, 1988
  • Rumpole a la Carte, Viking, 1990
  • Rumpole on Trial, Viking, 1992
  • The Best of Rumpole, Penguin, 1993
  • Like Men Betrayed, Chivers Press (Bath, England), 1993
  • Rumpole and the Angel of Death, Viking, 1995
  • The Third Rumpole Omnibus (contains Rumpole a la Carte, Rumpole and the Age of Miracles, and Rumpole and the Angel of Death), Penguin, 1998
  • Editor
  • Famous Trials, Penguin (New York City), 1984
  • (And author of introduction) Great Law and Order Stories, Bellew (London), 1990 Norton (New York City), 1992
  • The Oxford Book of Villains, Oxford University Press (Oxford, England), 1992
  • Nonfiction
  • (With Penelope Ruth Mortimer) With Love and Lizards (travel), M. Joseph, 1957
  • Clinging to the Wreckage: A Part of Life (autobiography), Ticknor& Fields (New Haven, CT), 1982
  • In Character (interviews), Allen Lane (London), 1983
  • Character Parts (interviews; originally published in Sunday Times), Viking (London), 1987 Penguin, 1988
  • Murderers and Other Friends: Another Part of Life (biographies), Viking (New York City), 1994
  • The Summer of a Dormouse: Another Part of Life (autobiography), Viking, 2001
  • Other Writings
  • (As Geoffrey Lincoln) No Moaning at the Bar, Bles (London), 1957
  • Under the Hammer, 1994
  • Drama critic for Evening Standard, New Statesman, and Observer, 1972. Contributor to periodicals. Mortimer's manuscripts are collected at Boston University and the University of California, Los Angeles.

Further Reference

ADAPTATIONS

  • The film The Dock Brief (also known as Trial and Error), released in 1962, was based on Mortimer's play The Dock Brief.
OTHER SOURCES
    Books
    • Contemporary Dramatists, 6th edition, St. James Press, 1999
    • Contemporary Novelists, 7th edition, St. James Press, 2001
    • International Dictionary of Theatre, Volume 2: Playwrights,St. James Press, 1993
    • Taylor, John Russell, The Angry Theatre, Hill & Wang (New YorkCity), 1962, revised edition, 1969, published in England as Anger and After, Methuen, 1962, revised edition, 1969,
    Periodicals
    • Armchair Detective: Quarterly Journal Devoted to the Appreciation of Mystery, Detective, and Suspense Fiction, fall, 1987, pp. 340-349
    • New Yorker, March 20, 1995, p. 78

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