A distinguished writer of plays, novels, short stories, non-fiction, and screenplays, Ronald Harwood earned a reputation for intelligent literary adaptations that often drew from his own works. Though he had a long and fruitful career, Harwood came to prominence late in life by winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for Roman Polanski's extraordinary film, "The Pianist" (2002), which depicted Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman's survival in Nazi occupied Warsaw. Previously he earned Academy attention with the adaptation of his own play, "The Dresser" (1983), which drew upon his own experiences as a personal assistant to aging actor Sir Donald Wolfit in the 1950s. Harwood later brought recognition to the struggle of apartheid with his biopic on "Mandela" (HBO, 1987) and later with his adaptation of "Cry, the Beloved Country" (1995). After "The Pianist," he delivered notable adaptations of W. Somerset Maugham's "Being Julia" (2003) and Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (2005), before writing an extraordinary adaptation of debilitated editor Jean Dominique-Bauby's memoir, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" (2007). While most writers saw their best work earlier in life, Harwood improved exponentially with age on his way to becoming one of the literary world's most celebrated and prolific scribes.