Great Brit Waterhouse dead at 80

The Billy Liar and Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell writer passed away in his sleep on Friday morning (04Sep09). He was 80.

His death comes after a short undisclosed illness.

Born in Leeds, England, Waterhouse started his career as a clerk in an undertaker’s office, which inspired his first bestseller and play, Billy Liar.

He served in the Royal Air Force and then signed on as a reporter for the Yorkshire Evening Post newspaper.

He became a Daily Mirror journalist in the early 1950s and his literary skills were so renowned he frequently wrote speeches for top politicians like Harold Wilson.

He wrote his first novel, There Is A Happy Land, in 1956 and went on to create one of the West End’s favourite shows Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, based on his friend Bernard’s weekly Low Life columns in the Spectator magazine.

Waterhouse and Bernard also co-scripted two beloved British films, Whistle Down The Wind and A Kind Of Loving.

He was nominated for the Best British Screenplay BAFTA three years running in the early 1960s.