Harold Pinter Headshot

Harold Pinter

Birth Place: ENGLAND

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Harold Pinter BIO

Harold Pinter was an English playwright, screenwriter, director, and actor, widely regarded as one of the most influential and important dramatists of the 20th century. Born in Hackney, East London, on October 10, 1930, Pinter grew up in a working-class Jewish family. He attended Hackney Downs School, where he excelled in English literature and drama, and later studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Pinter's early career was marked by a series of odd jobs, including working as a waiter, a sweeper, and a repertory actor. In 1957, he achieved his breakthrough as a playwright with his first full-length play, The Birthday Party, which premiered at the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre in London. The play was initially panned by critics, but it later became recognized as a masterpiece of modern drama.
Pinter's subsequent plays, including The Caretaker (1960), The Homecoming (1965), and Betrayal (1978), established him as a major force in the theatre world. His plays are known for their sparse, elliptical dialogue, their use of silence and pauses, and their exploration of power dynamics and human relationships. Pinter's work has been described as a blend of comedy and menace, a reflection of the absurdity and brutality of modern life.
In addition to his work as a playwright, Pinter was also a prolific screenwriter, penning scripts for films such as The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981), The Handmaid's Tale (1990), and Sleuth (2007). He also directed several of his own plays, as well as films and television productions.
Pinter was a vocal political activist, and his work often reflected his left-wing views. He was a staunch critic of American foreign policy, particularly in relation to the Iraq War, and he was a member of the Stop the War Coalition. In 2005, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, in recognition of his "unmistakable voice, that with a minimum of means, captures the underlying universal truths of human existence."
Pinter's stage work was also recognized with numerous awards and accolades. He won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play for The Caretaker and The Homecoming, and he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play for Betrayal. He was also awarded the Companion of Honour in 2002, and the BAFTA Fellowship in 2005.
Pinter's legacy continues to influence contemporary theatre, film, and literature. His plays are regularly produced around the world, and his screenplays are studied in film schools and universities. His influence can be seen in the work of many contemporary playwrights, including David Mamet and Martin McDonagh.
Despite his success and critical acclaim, Pinter remained a private and enigmatic figure. He was married to actress Vivien Merchant from 1956 to 1980, and later to author Antonia Fraser. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2001, but continued to work and write until his death on December 24, 2008.
In conclusion, Harold Pinter was a towering figure in 20th-century theatre, whose work continues to captivate and challenge audiences. His plays and screenplays are marked by their distinctive style and their exploration of power, politics, and human relationships. Pinter's legacy is a testament to the enduring power of art to illuminate and transform the world around us.

Harold Pinter Photos

Harold Pinter Productions

 
[Broadway, 2015]
Playwright
 
[Broadway, 1977]
Director
 
[Broadway, 1976]
Director
 
[Broadway, 1968]
Director

Writing

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Harold Pinter Movies

The Servant
[ 1963 ] People in restaurant: Society Man
The Guest
[ 1963 ] writer
The Pumpkin Eater
[ 1964 ] writer
The Quiller Memorandum
[ 1966 ] writer
Modesty Blaise
[ 1966 ] writer
Accident
[ 1967 ] Bell - TV Producer
The Birthday Party
[ 1968 ] writer
The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer
[ 1970 ] Steven Hench
The Go-Between
[ 1971 ] writer
The Homecoming
[ 1973 ] writer
The Last Tycoon
[ 1976 ] writer
The French Lieutenant's Woman
[ 1981 ] writer
Betrayal
[ 1983 ] writer
Turtle Diary
[ 1985 ] Man in Bookshop
Reunion
[ 1989 ] writer
The Comfort of Strangers
[ 1990 ] writer
The Handmaid's Tale
[ 1990 ] writer
The Trial
[ 1993 ] writer
Mojo
[ 1997 ] Sam Ross
Mansfield Park
[ 1999 ] Sir Thom Bertram
The Tailor of Panama
[ 2001 ] Uncle Benny
Sleuth
[ 2007 ] Man on T.V.

Harold Pinter Awards and Nominations

The Lortels - 2011 - Outstanding Revival

Harold Pinter, The Collection & A Kind of Alaska


winner
Evening Standard Awards - 2004 - Lebedev Special Award

Harold Pinter


winner
The Lortels - 1999 - Outstanding Lifetime Achievement

Harold Pinter


winner
Olivier Awards - 1996 - The Society's Special Award

Harold Pinter

Olivier Awards - 1993 - Best Revival of a Play or Comedy

Harold PinterNo Man's Land

Olivier Awards - 1981 - Director of the Year

Harold PinterQuartermaine's Terms


winner
New York Drama Critics Circle Awards - 1980 - Best Foreign Play

Harold Pinter, Betrayal


winner
Olivier Awards - 1979 - Play of the Year

Harold PinterBetrayal

Drama Desk Awards - 1977 - Best New Foreign Play

Harold Pinter, No Man's Land

New York Drama Critics Circle Awards - 1977 - Best Play

Harold Pinter, No Man's Land

New York Drama Critics Circle Awards - 1972 - Best Foreign Play

Harold Pinter, Old Times

Tony Awards - 1972 - Best Play

Harold Pinter, Old Times

Tony Awards - 1969 - Best Direction of a Play

Harold Pinter, The Man in the Glass Booth


winner
New York Drama Critics Circle Awards - 1967 - Best Play

Harold Pinter, The Homecoming


winner
Tony Awards - 1967 - Best Play

Harold Pinter, The Homecoming

Tony Awards - 1962 - Best Play

Harold Pinter, The Caretaker


winner
Evening Standard Awards - 1960 - Best Play

Harold PinterThe Caretaker

Harold Pinter Videos

Harold Pinter News


Photos: First Look At The Stars of YOU LIE IN APRIL West End

Zheng Xi Yong and Mia Kobayashi star in the new West End musical Your Lie in April by Frank Wildhorn, set in the highly competitive world of classical music competitions. Based on the manga worldwide sensation, it will open at The Harold Pinter Theatre for 12 weeks from from June 28. See a photo of the stars below.
Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu Directs TYPT, Talawa's Free Programme for Emerging Black Theatremakers

Talawa Theatre Company’s flagship programme for emerging theatremakers, TYPT, is back this summer.  A team of emerging Black artists aged 18-25 will work with established artists to create a brand-new show in four weeks, with invaluable access for young artists at the start of their careers to professional support including director Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu.  This summer, the participants will create work themed around success.
Jez Butterworth's THE HILLS OF CALIFORNIA, Directed by Sam Mendes, Will Open on Broadway This Fall

Jez Butterworth’s new play The Hills of California, directed by Sam Mendes, will open on Broadway this fall! The play will perform a limited engagement at the Broadhurst Theatre with previews beginning in September.
BETRAYAL Comes to Red Room Arts

Rec Room Arts has announced the opening of a revival production of Harold Pinter's BETRAYAL, directed by Sophia Watt (Heroes of the Fourth Turning, Dance Nation).
Interview: David Henry Hwang Discusses YELLOW FACE Audible Drama Ahead of Play's Broadway Debut

At the beginning of May, a brand new audio version of David Henry Hwang's Yellow Face debuted on Audible, which features a starry cast that includes Daniel Dae Kim, Benedict Wong, Ashley Park, and Jane Krakoswki. BroadwayWorld sat down with Hwang to discuss this new way of experiencing his play and how he approached the material 17 years later.
Full Cast Set For YOUR LIE IN APRIL Musical

The full cast has been announced for Your Lie in April’s fully staged 12-week West End premiere. Learn more about who is starring here!
Peter Van Norden to Receive the Actors' Equity Foundation's Michael McCarty Recognition Award

The Actors’ Equity Foundation will bestow its 2024 Michael McCarty Recognition Award to actor Peter Van Norden. Learn more about Van Norden and about the award.
Full Cast Set For THE BAKER'S WIFE at The Menier Chocolate Factory

The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced full casting for Gordon Greenberg’s production of The Baker’s Wife – with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Joseph Stein. Learnm ore about the cast here!
IF I DID, YOU DESERVED IT Comes to Queerly Festival in June

Laurizarry will present IF I DID, YOU DESERVED IT written by Jess Lauricello and directed by Casey Kelly. The production will be presented as part of the 2024 Queerly Festival with FRIGID New York at UNDER St. Marks (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009) on Friday, June 21 at 7:00pm.
Lead Cast Set For YOUR LIE IN APRIL West End Run

The lead actors have been revealed for Your Lie in April's fully staged 12-week West End premiere ahead of rehearsals starting next week.  
THE DUMB WAITER Comes to the Baxter Masambe Theatre in June

THE DUMB WAITER will be onstage at the Baxter Masambe Theatre from 18 - 28 June 2024. Learn more about the production here!
Cast Set for THREE MEN IN A BOAT The The Mill At Sonning Theatre

See who is starring in THREE MEN IN A BOAT at The Mill at Sonning Theatre. Learn more about the show and see how to purchase tickets.
Initial Cast Set For Revival of THE BAKER'S WIFE at the Menier Chocolate Factory; Lucie Jones, Clive Rowe, and More!

The Menier Chocolate Factory has announced initial casting for The Baker's Wife – with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Joseph Stein. Learn more about the cast here!
Photos: First Look at HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at Roleystone Theatre

After six years, the Roleystone Theatre building has been restored to its former glory – and its theatre company is bringing the stage to life again with the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Check out production photos here!
BLIPPI: THE WONDERFUL WORLD TOUR Returns to London in July

Blippi: The Wonderful World Tour sees the return of the energetic and educational adventures of global sensation Blippi to the West End this summer.
YOUR LIE IN APRIL Musical Will Open in the West End at The Harold Pinter Theatre

Just two months after two sold-out critically acclaimed concerts, new musical Your Lie in April The Musical is to get a fully realised West End production for a 12-week season.
Cast Set For THE TAMING OF THE SHREW at Shakespeare's Globe

Shakespeare’s Globe has announced the cast of The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Jude Christian.
Video: Behind the Scenes of Alistair Mcdowall's CAPTAIN AMAZING At Southwark Playhouse Borough In May

Matthew Schmolle Productions have announced the 10 year anniversary production of Alistair McDowall's critically acclaimed Captain Amazing will open at Southwark Playhouse Borough this May. With previews from 1st May and press night on 2nd May.
MACBETH With David Tennant and Cush Jumbo Will Transfer to the West End

The Donmar Warehouse's critically acclaimed production of Macbeth, starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo, and directed by Max Webster, will transfer to the West End.
Southampton Arts Center to Presents TRU by Jay Pressor Allen in June

Southampton Arts Center will present TRU by Jay Pressor Allen, directed by Will Pomerantz, and starring Patrick Christiano.

Harold Pinter FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How many shows has Harold Pinter written?

Harold Pinter has written 22 shows including The Pinter Plays (Playwright), Play/ The Lover (Playwright), The New Pinter Plays (Playwright), The Birthday Party (Playwright), Tea Party/ The Basement (Playwright), The Local Stigmatic (Playwright), Landscape/ Silence (Playwright), Old Times (Playwright), The Homecoming (Playwright), No Man's Land (Playwright), The Hothouse (Playwright), Old Times (Playwright), Other Places (Playwright), The Birthday Party (Playwright), Mountain Language (Playwright), Moonlight (Playwright), Ashes to Ashes (Playwright), Betrayal (Playwright), The Caretaker (Playwright), Celebration and The Room (Playwright), The Homecoming (Playwright), The Collection & A Kind of Alaska: Two Plays by Harold Pinter (Playwright).

What awards has Harold Pinter been nominated for?

Harold Pinter has been nominated for several awards throughout his career, including Outstanding Revival at The Lortels for "The Collection" & "A Kind of Alaska," the Lebedev Special Award at the Evening Standard Awards, Outstanding Lifetime Achievement at The Lortels, The Society's Special Award at the Olivier Awards, Best Revival of a Play or Comedy at the Olivier Awards for "No Man's Land," Director of the Year at the Olivier Awards for "Quartermaine's Terms," Best Foreign Play at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for "Betrayal," Play of the Year at the Olivier Awards for "Betrayal," Best New Foreign Play at the Drama Desk Awards for "No Man's Land," Best Play at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for "No Man's Land," Best Foreign Play at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for "Old Times," Best Play at the Tony Awards for "Old Times," Best Direction of a Play at the Tony Awards for "The Man in the Glass Booth," Best Play at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for "The Homecoming," Best Play at the Tony Awards for "The Homecoming," Best Play at the Tony Awards for "The Caretaker," and Best Play at the Evening Standard Awards for "The Caretaker."

What awards has Harold Pinter won?

Harold Pinter has won several awards throughout his career, including the Lebedev Special Award at the Evening Standard Awards, Outstanding Lifetime Achievement at The Lortels, The Society's Special Award at the Olivier Awards, Best Foreign Play at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for "Betrayal," Play of the Year at the Olivier Awards for "Betrayal," Best Play at the New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for "The Homecoming," Best Play at the Tony Awards for "The Homecoming," and Best Play at the Evening Standard Awards for "The Caretaker."

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