John Mortimer

Playwright, Screenwriter, Novelist
John Mortimer, world-class British writer and lawyer, brought the world some of the best television series and films of the 20th century. Mortimer attended Oxford, and after being told he was unfit to serve in World War ... Read more »
Born: 04/21/1923 in Hampstead, England, GB

Filmography

Writer (38)

In Love and War 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Screenplay

Tea With Mussolini 1999 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rumpole and the Children of the Devil 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Eternal Triangle 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Family Pride 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Miscarriage of Justice 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Reform of Joby Jonson 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole on Trial 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole of the Bailey, Series VI 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and Portia 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Age of Miracles 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Barrow Boy 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Bubble Reputation 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Quality of Life 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole and the Tap End 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole of the Bailey, Series IV 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Writer

Maschenka 1986 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Rumpole's Return 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Writer

George and Mildred 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Writer

Robin's Nest 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Writer

Brideshead Revisited 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Writer

Rumpole of the Bailey, Series I 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Writer

Married Alive 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)

Writer

John and Mary 1969 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

A Flea in Her Ear 1968 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Bunny Lake Is Missing 1964 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

The Running Man 1963 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Guns of Darkness 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

I Thank a Fool 1961 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Trial and Error 1961 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

Cider With Rosie (TV Show)

Writer

Don Quixote (TV Show)

Screenplay

Father, Dear Father (TV Show)

Writer

Man About the House (TV Show)

Writer

Paradise Postponed (TV Show)

Writer

Summer's Lease (TV Show)

Writer

The Ebony Tower (TV Show)

Writer

Titmuss Regained (TV Show)

Writer
Actor (3)

Oscar Wilde: Wit's End 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Going Places 1996 - 1997 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Alistair Cooke Salute 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

John Mortimer, world-class British writer and lawyer, brought the world some of the best television series and films of the 20th century. Mortimer attended Oxford, and after being told he was unfit to serve in World War II he began to work for the Crown Film Unit, mostly on propaganda films. He soon found work in radio, but at 25 was called to the bar where he worked on a variety of legal cases, most notably defending the publishers of "Lady Chatterley's Lover" against obscenity charges, and later the publishers of "Last Exit to Brooklyn". He worked in the courts for 30 years, and this work inspired his most famous creation, a barrister named Horace Rumpole who worked at London's Old Bailey in the series" Rumpole of the Bailey". The 42 episodes of the show based on his books ran from 1978 to 1992. Throughout his career he worked on a number of scripts for famous films, including Jack Clayton's 1961 thriller "The Innocents" and Otto Preminger's 1968 classic "Bunny Lake Is Missing", among many other films and series. Mortimer is also credited for adapting the popular 1981 mini-series "Brideshead Revisited", which was based on the heralded Evelyn Waugh novel. Though he worked consistently until the end of his life, his most notable later film was the Franco Zeffirelli-directed "Tea with Mussolini". A self-proclaimed 'champagne socialist,' he wrote over 50 books, plays and screenplays throughout his lengthy, brilliant career. Mortimer died in January 2009 at the age of 85.

Relationships

Kathleen May Mortimer

Mother

Penelope Mortimer

Wife
married in 1949 divorced in 1971 mother of Mortimer's two older children died in 2000

Emily Mortimer Actor

Daughter
Born Dec. 1, 1971; mother, Penelope Mortimer

Clifford Mortimer

Father
Mortimer reportedly based his famous character of Rumpole of the Bailey on his father died in 1959

Rosie Mortimer

Daughter

EDUCATION

Brasenose College, Oxford University

1947
enrolled in 1940; left in 1942; resumed education after WWII

Harrow School

1937 - 1940

Milestones

1981

Wrote the teleplay adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited"; aired in USA in 1981

1975

Became a Master of the Bench, Inner Temple

1969

In a well-known court case, defended the publishers of Oz magazine against pornography charges

1968

Wrote the feature film "John and Mary"

1966

Appointed as a Queen's Counsel

1963

Penned the screenplay for "The Running Man"

1958

First play, "What Shall We Tell Caroline?"

1957

Garnered attention with third radio play, "The Dock Brief"; wrote stage adaptation in 1958

1948

Became a barrister

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