Oliver Sacks

Writer, Doctor
Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, CBE, explored the impact of rare and unusual physical conditions on individuals, from colorblindness to hallucinations, over the course of a celebrated four-decade career. Sacks' ... Read more »
Born: 07/09/1933 in North London, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (8)

Indestructible 2008 (Movie)

(Actor)

Understanding 1994 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

At First Sight 1999 (Movie)

Reporter (Actor)

Awakenings: The Real Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Oliver Sacks: The Mind Traveler 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

People in Motion 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

A Glorious Accident 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat 1988 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)
Writer (3)

The Music Never Stopped 2011 (Movie)

(from case study: "The Last Hippie") (Source Material)

At First Sight 1999 (Movie)

("To See and Not See" in the book "An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales") (From Story)

Awakenings 1990 (Movie)

(Source Material (from novel))
Other (1)

Awakenings 1990 (Movie)

technical consultant (Consultant)

Biography

Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks, CBE, explored the impact of rare and unusual physical conditions on individuals, from colorblindness to hallucinations, over the course of a celebrated four-decade career. Sacks' scientific writing eschewed the clinical, statistic-based quality of many medical books in favor of compassionate, deeply involved writing about the human element of diseases and rare maladies: how they impacted, and in some cases, improved the person's way of life. Sacks' humanistic approach made him a best-selling author with general audiences, and led to a number of popular adaptations in the media, including the feature film "Awakenings" (1990), as well as countless laurels from medical and educational institutions. Sacks' contributions to medical writing and understanding of the mysteries of brain function made him one of the most popular scientific figures in the world, a status he maintained until his death from cancer on August 29, 2015.

Relationships

Billy Hayes Book as Source Material

Partner

EDUCATION

St Paul's School

Queens College

1954 - 1958

Queen's College

1951 - 1954

Milestones

2015

Published autobiography, <i>On the Move</i>; announced that he had inoperable brain cancer

2010

Wrote about eye conditions, including his own ocular melanoma, in <i>The Mind's Eye</i>

2005

Penned first memoir, <i>Uncle Tungsten</i>

1999

Appeared in a small role in romantic drama "At First Sight," inspired by one of his essays

1990

Was portrayed by Robin Williams in the film adaptation "Awakenings"

1985

Earned a best-seller with <i>The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a  Hat</i>

1973

Published breakthrough book, <i>Awakenings</i>

1969

Published first book, <i>Migraine</i>

1966

Served as neurological consultant at Beth Abraham Health Services in New York, which inspires <i>Awakenings</i>.

Bonus Trivia

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The minor planet 84928 Oliversacks was named in his honor in 2003.

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The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat was the inspiration for an opera by composer Michael Nyman in 1986 and a play by Peter Brook in 1993.

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The band Travis drew the title for their 1999 album The Man Who from The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

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Sacks dedicated the 1976 edition of Awakenings to poet W.H. Auden, who read the 1973 edition and declared it a "masterpiece."

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Sacks recalled that in his adolescent years, his mother would occasionally bring home the bodies of malformed fetuses that she had delivered for Sacks to examine and dissect.

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His extended family included Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban and film director Jonathan Lynn, who were his first cousins.

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While at UCLA, Sacks experimented with LSD and amphetamines, the latter of which he claimed to inspire him to chronicle his discoveries in books.

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Suffered from severe shyness and prosopagosia, or "face blindness."

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The films "At First Sight" and "The Music Never Stopped" were based on essays from An Anthropologist on Mars.

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"There is only one cardinal rule: One must always LISTEN to the patient." -- Newsweek, August 20, 1984

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