See index for CTFT sketch: Born April 13, 1931, in London, England; died after treatment for a series of aneurysms, March 20, 1998, in London, England. Actor, director, playwright, librettist. Cross had a varied career as awriter--a career which included children's plays, adult dramas, screenplays,novels, and teleplays. He is also remembered for his lengthy on-again off-again romance with famed actress Dame Maggie Smith, who eventually became his third wife in 1975. Biographers often commented on Cross's devotion to Smith, who survives him. Before attending Oxford University, where he met Smith, Cross served in the Royal Naval Reserve, the British Army, and the Norwegian Merchant Marine. In 1953 he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in England but eventually decided against a career in acting. In 1956 he began work with theBritish Broadcasting Corporation as a production assistant for children's television drama. His work as a playwright also began in earnest. In 1959 his play One More River, opened with success. Strip the Willow premiered in 1960 and featured Smith. Meanwhile, his plays for children began appearing on BBC, including The Singing Dolphin: A Christmas Play for Childrenin Two Acts and The Three Cavaliers. Cross then adapted Half aSixpence, a two-act libretto, from H. G. Wells's novel Kipps. He later adapted the work for film. In 1964 he directed Boeing-Boeing in Australia; a year later he directed The Platinum Cat in London. Among his other works are the opera The Mines of Sulphur, the musical Jorrocks, the librettos Victory and The Rising of the Moon, andthe play Happy Birthday. He also wrote the juvenile musical All the King's Men. His work as a screenwriter included Jason and the Argonauts, The Long Ships, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger, Mussolini: The Last Act, and Clash of the Titans. His teleplays--such as The Nightwalkers, The Dark Pits of War, and A Bill of Mortality-- were broadcast on the BBC network. His play The Ghostwriter was produced in 1996.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES