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Terence Rattigan
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    (June 10, 1911-November 30, 1977)
    Born in London, United Kingdom
    Wrote the plays 'French Without Tears' (1936), 'After the Dance' (1939), 'The Winslow Boy' (1946), 'The Browning Version' (1948), 'The Deep Blue Sea' (1952), 'Separate Tables' (1954), 'Ross' (1960), 'A Bequest to the Nation' (1970), 'In Praise of Love' (1973) and 'Cause Celebre' (1977)
    Wrote screenplays for 'The Way to the Stars' (1945), 'Brighton Rock' (1947), 'Breaking the Sound Barrier' (1952), 'The V.I.P.s' (1963), 'The Yellow Rolls-Royce' (1964) and 'Goodbye Mr. Chips' (1969)
    Knighted (1971)
    During a performance of 'Romeo and Juliet' at Oxford, he delivered his one line upon discovering Juliet's body so badly that he drew uproarious laughter at a moment meant to be tragic.
    He left Oxford without a degree.
    After the success of John Osborne's 'Look Back in Anger' and the rise of the 'Angry Young Men' movement in English drama, his plays were suddenly dismissed by the critics as old-fashioned.
    He probably did not help his cause when he said the only message he could find in 'Look Back in Anger' was 'Look, ma, I'm not Terence Rattigan.'
    He said his 'bitterest disappointment' was when a proposed film based on his play 'Ross,' about the life of T.E. Lawrence, was cancelled to avoid competing with David Lean's 'Lawrence of Arabia.'
    He disliked the 'Swinging London' of the 60s so much that he moved to Bermuda.
    He won scholarships to Harrow and Oxford.
    He served as a tail gunner in the RAF during World War II.
    During a five-year period in the 40s, he had plays running simultaneously in three adjacent West End theaters.
    He was considered for a knighthood in 1958, but the honor was downgraded to a CBE over concerns about his homosexuality.
    Despite his feuding with several young playwrights, he invested £3,000 to transfer Joe Orton's comedy 'Entertaining Mr. Sloane' to a West End theater.
    He saw his plays return to critical favor in the 70s.

Credit: C. Fishel

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