Extremely shy and private writer-actor Alan Bennett lost his anonymity early when the success of the "Beyond the Fringe" revue (both in London and New York) thrust him into the limelight in the early 1960s. The least spectacular of the madcap ensemble, which also included fellow Oxford grads Jonathan Miller, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, this sandy-haired son of a Yorkshire butcher was a deft character player who never seemed to risk the others' flights of improvisation. Never stumbling, never soaring, the cautiously letter-perfect Bennett was, even then, more the writer than performer. Yet, of that talented quartet, Bennett has shown the most staying power, becoming arguably Britain's most endearing man of letters. In his writings for the stage, film, TV and literary weeklies, one can hear the voice of the last country parson.