Like his literary hero, the 19th Century French poet Arthur Rimbaud, writer Christopher Hampton found professional success at a young age. When his play "When Did You Last See My Mother" (1966) opened...
|Hotel Du Lac||Director||n/a||4|
|Hotel Du Lac||Screenwriter||n/a||1|
|Total Eclipse||1995||Actor||The Judge||19957|
|The Secret Agent||1996||Director||n/a||4|
|The Man Who Came to a Village||2013||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Beyond the Limit||1983||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Tales From Hollywood||1992 1991 - 1992||Writer||n/a||1|
|The Good Father||1987||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Coco Before Chanel||2009||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|The Ginger Tree||1990 1989 - 1990||Writer||n/a||1|
|The Wolf at the Door||1987||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|The Secret Agent||1996||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Tales From the Vienna Woods||1977||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|The BET Honors 2013||2012 2011 - 2012||Writer||n/a||1|
|The Quiet American||2002||Screenplay||(Adaptation)||1|
|A Doll's House||1972||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Ali & Nino||2014||Screenplay||(adaptation)||1|
|A Dangerous Method||2011||Screenplay||n/a||1|
|Tales From Hollywood||1992 1991 - 1992||Play as Source Material||n/a||1|
|Dangerous Liaisons||2003 2002 - 2003||Play as Source Material||(Les Liaisons Dangereuses)||1|
|Total Eclipse||1995||Play as Source Material||n/a||1|
|Dangerous Liaisons||1988||Play as Source Material||n/a||1|
|A Dangerous Method||2011||Source Material||(Based on the play: "The Talking Cure")||1|
|Wrote the play "Treats"|
|First film as screenwriter, "A Doll's House," based on Ibsen play|
|Adapted his play into the feature film "Dangerous Liaisons"; directed by Stephen Frears|
|Adapted play as feature "Total Eclipse"|
|Penned "Total Eclipse," about the relationship between Rimbaud and Verlaine|
|Forced to leave Alexandria, Egypt when the Suez Canal crisis occurred|
|Translated Yasmina Reza's play "Life x 3" into English; performed at the Royal National Theatre|
|First American production, "When Did You Last See My Mother?" off-off-Broadway|
|Breakthrough stage work, "Les Liaisons Dangereuse," based on the epistolary novel by Choderlos de Laclos|
|Penned "Tales From Hollywood," about the German expatriate community in Southern California in the late 1930s, early 1940s|
|Wrote British TV adaptation of "Tales From Hollywood" starring Jeremy Irons and Alec Guinness|
|Wrote the screenplay for David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method" based on his play "The Talking Cure" and John Kerr's book A Most Dangerous Method|
|Wrote the autobiographical play "White Chameleon"|
|Penned the screenplay for "The Quiet American"|
|Collaborated with composer Frank Wildhorn and lyricist Don Black on a musical version of "Dracula"|
|Adapted the Graham Greene novel "The Honorary Consul" to the screen as "Beyond the Limit"|
|Feature directorial debut, "Carrington"; also wrote script|
|Moved to Hamburg, Germany and worked as a dramturg at Schauspielhaus|
|Family moved to Hong Kong and Zanzibar|
|Translated Yasmina Reza's three-character play "Art"|
|Adapted the novel Atonement for the big screen, which starred James McAvoy and Keira Knightley; earned Golden Globe and Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay|
|Collaborated with Don Black on the book and lyrics for the stage musical "Sunset Boulevard" (moved to Broadway in 1995)|
|Sent to boarding school in England|
|Wrote the screenplay for "The Secret Agent"|
|Broadway debut as playwright, "The Philanthropist"|
|Wrote and directed "Imagining Argentina" set during the Dirty War in the 1970s Buenos Aires|
|Resident dramatist at Royal Court Theatre in London|
|First stage play produced, "When Did You Last See My Mother?" at Royal Court Theatre in London|
|Re-teamed with director Stephen Frears to write the screenplay adaptation of "Mary Reilly"|
|Lived in Aden and Egypt as a child|
|Re-teamed with Stephen Frears to write the film adaptation of "Cheri" by French author Colette; also executive produced|
Christopher James Hampton was born on Jan. 26, 1946, in the Azores archipelago, Portugal. Of English nationality, Hampton's father was an engineer with Cable and Wireless, a British telecom company, and the family moved often, finally settling in Alexandria, Egypt, when Hampton was a boy. He was a precocious reader, adept at languages, and became a brilliant student when his father shipped him off to boarding school in England. Mastering French and German as well as English, he wrote poetry and acted in plays. He also had his first sexual experiences, which in the all-male culture of English public schools included homosexuality. Although Hampton would eventually marry and father two children, he turned his early sexual confusion into the basis for his first play, which he wrote before matriculating at Oxford University.
By the time "When Did You Last See My Mother" premiered in the West End, Hampton was dating the daughter of an Oxford don. While his sexual orientation had shifted, his interest in romantic love between men had not; at least not as a dramatic subject. He wrote his next play, "Total Eclipse," about the relationship between Rimbaud and the poet, Paul Verlaine. While "Total Eclipse" received mixed reviews at its West End premiere, it nevertheless established Hampton as a playwright of great sophistication and skill. Upon graduation from Oxford, the Royal Court Theater made Hampton a writer-in-residence. For the next few years, he wrote tirelessly, producing "The Philanthropist" (1970), "Savages" (1973), and "Treats" (1976). He also received his first screen credit and excellent reviews for his film adaptation of Ibsen's "A Doll's House" (1973).
Wanting to stretch his creativity - as well as cash in on his burgeoning reputation - Hampton moved out to Hollywood to try his hand in film. It proved to be a frustrating experience. Unlike the ease Hampton found in getting his work produced on stage, the film projects he worked on stalled in development, so he returned to England with a renewed commitment to the theater. However, he brilliantly spun his maddening time in Los Angeles into artistic gold. His play "Tales from Hollywood" (1980), which followed the trials and tribulations of displaced European wartime exiles in Hollywood, was an enormous popular and critical success. It also gave Hampton the creative clout to do just about anything he wanted for his next project. He took an enormous risk, but it would prove to be the greatest triumph of his career.
Hampton's stage adaptation of the 18th century French novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" - renamed "Dangerous Liaisons" - was an international sensation, winning many awards and transferring from London to Broadway without a hitch. The boisterous tale of greed, sex and power resonated with modern audiences in both England and America, who saw reflections of their own societies under the Free Market governments of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan respectively. Hampton's Oscar for his film adaptation catapulted him into the stratosphere of in-demand screenwriters overnight.
For the next few years, Hampton worked on many major studio projects, and although he was paid well, he discovered that it was still frustratingly difficult to get a film into production. He had more luck in his native Britain. He turned the Oswald Wynd novel "The Ginger Tree" (BBC, 1989) into a miniseries for British television, and followed up with an adaptation of his play "Tales from Hollywood" (BBC, 1992). But the breaks came in unexpected places. In 1995, when director Mike Newell dropped out of a Hampton-scripted project, he convinced the writer to take over the project himself. Hampton accepted the offer, and "Carrington" (1995) became his directing debut, opening up yet another new career path. The film, about the platonic love affair between the writer Lytton Strachey and the painter Dora Carrington, did not do well financially, but received excellent reviews.
After years of not seeing his screenplays produced, "Carrington" seemed to change Hampton's luck. In short order, he saw the premieres of "Total Eclipse" (1995) - an adaptation of his play starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Rimbaud, "Mary Reilly" (1996), starring Julia Roberts as the housemaid to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and "The Secret Agent" (1996), an adaptation of the Joseph Conrad Novel that he also directed. Although he was finding success in films, some of his theater friends were less than happy. The playwright David Hare, an old friend, bemoaned that fact that Hampton had been lost to the cinema. But even though Hampton had not had an original play produced since his autobiographical "White Chameleon" in 1991, he continued to work in theater by adapting the work of others. He had a huge success with his translation of Yasmina Reza's "Art" (1996). He also co-wrote the lyrics and book to the stage adaptation of "Sunset Boulevard," winning two Tony Awards in 1995.
Hampton continued to write and direct films into the 21st century. He adapted the Graham Greene novel "The Quiet American" (2002) for director Philip Noyce, then took the directing reins himself for "Imagining Argentina" (2003), an adaptation of the Lawrence Thornton novel. After reading the bestselling Ian McEwan novel "Atonement," he immediately called his agents asking them to put him up for the job to turn it into a film. They explained to him that it was one of the most coveted assignments in Hollywood and that McEwan himself had say over who would get the gig. It turned out, however, that McEwan was a fan of Hampton's work and he was hired. "Atonement" (2007) starred two of the hottest young stars in film, Kiera Knightly and James McAvoy. It opened to strong reviews and earned Hampton numerous award nominations, including a Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
|Dorothy Patience Hampton||Mother||British|
|Alice Hampton||Daughter||Born c. 1974; mother, Laura Margaret d'Holesch|
|Mary Hampton||Daughter||Born c. 1976; mother, Laura Margaret d'Holesch|
|Joanna Heyningen||Companion||Dated during college; no longer together|
|Laura d'Holesch||Wife||Of Hungarian descent; married in 1971; mother of his two daughters|
|University of Oxford|
|Reigate Prep School|
|Hampton served with the Royal Society of Literature. He has been a council member since 1984.|
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