Harold Pinter Playwright
Harold Pinter was born in Hackney, London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 until his death on Christmas Eve 2008. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, Pinter was lauded throughout his life as one of the greatest living playwrights, who had a revolutionary impact on how theater was written and performed, and who it represented on stage. An establishment agitator who challenged injustice, he became as famous for his political interventions as for his writing later in his life. His genius was recognized within his lifetime as a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, the Companion of Honor for services to Literature, the Legion D’Honneur, the European Theatre Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D’Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999, he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature, in addition to 18 other honorary degrees. After working as an actor under the stage name David Baron, Pinter went on to be a theatrical playwright, director, screenwriter, and actor. He wrote his first play, The Room, in 1957, and from there, he wrote 29 more plays, including The Birthday Party, The Hothouse, The Caretaker, The Homecoming, Old Times, No Man’s Land, and Betrayal. Sketches include The Black and White, Request Stop, That’s Your Trouble, Night, and Precisely. Pinter directed 27 theater productions including James Joyce’s Exiles, David Mamet’s Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray, and scores of his own plays including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room, at The Almeida Theatre, London, in the spring of 2000. In film, he wrote 21 screenplays including “The Pumpkin Eater,” “The Servant,” “The Go-Between,” “The French Lieutenant’s Woman,” and “Sleuth.” He continued to act under his own name on stage and screen. He last acted two years before his death in 2006, when he appeared in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Ian Rickson.