Wolf Mankowitz

Novelist, Playwright, Screenwriter
A man of eclectic tastes, Wolf Mankowitz came to prominence as an author in the 1950s but many felt he failed to fully capitalize on his potential. The second son of an immigrant Russian Jew, he was raised in London's ... Read more »
Born: 11/07/1924 in London, England, GB


Writer (17)

Almonds and Raisins 1985 (Movie)


The Hireling 1972 (Movie)


Treasure Island 1972 (Movie)


Bloomfield 1970 (Movie)


The Assassination Bureau 1969 (Movie)

dialogue (Writer (dialogue))

Casino Royale 1967 (Movie)


Where the Spies Are 1964 (Movie)


Waltz of the Toreadors 1962 (Movie)


The Millionairess 1961 (Movie)


The Day the Earth Caught Fire 1960 (Movie)


The Long and the Short and the Tall 1960 (Movie)


The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll 1960 (Movie)


Expresso Bongo 1959 (Movie)


Expresso Bongo 1959 (Movie)

(Play as Source Material)

A Kid For Two Farthings 1955 (Movie)


A Kid For Two Farthings 1955 (Movie)

(Book as Source Material)

Dickens of London (TV Show)

Actor (1)

Expresso Bongo 1959 (Movie)

Sandwich Man (Actor)
Producer (1)

Bloomfield 1970 (Movie)



A man of eclectic tastes, Wolf Mankowitz came to prominence as an author in the 1950s but many felt he failed to fully capitalize on his potential. The second son of an immigrant Russian Jew, he was raised in London's East End and attended the University of Cambridge on scholarship. After graduating, Mankowitz became a lecturer, magazine editor and owner of an antiques shop. He later came to be recognized as an expert in Wedgwood and published several monographs and encyclopedia about pottery and porcelain. With the publication of his first novel "Make Me an Offer" in 1952, he drew on his background as an antiques expert. Mankowitz adapted it as a stage musical before it was turned into a 1954 feature. The following year, he wrote his first screenplay, the charming "A Kid for Two Farthings" (1954), a semi-autobiographical series of vignettes directed by Carol Reed set in the Jewish quarter of London near Petticoat Lane which drew on Yiddish folklore as well as the author's childhood memories. After much stage work, he penned the film musical "Expresso Bongo" (1959), about a scheming talent agent, as well as adaptations of George Bernard Shaw's play "The Millionairess" (1960), the Jean Anouilh comedy "Waltz of the Toreadors" (1962) and L.P. Hartley's novel "The Hireling" (1973).

Faced with ill heath and tax problems, Mankowitz decamped to Ireland in the early 70s. A TV version of his biography "Dickens of London" was made for Yorkshire Television in 1976 and aired on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" the following year. He later became an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico (1982-1988) and published a number of novels. Mankowitz made a one-shot return to films, providing the screenplay for the 1983 documentary on Yiddish filmmaking, "Almonds and Raisins" (1983).


Solomon Mankowitz

Russian Jew who settled in England originally had a cap stall

Benjamin Mankowitz

survived him

Daniel Mankowitz

survived him

Gered Mankowitz

survived him

Ann Seligmann

married in 1944 survived him


University of Cambridge

Cambridge , England
studied under F R Leavis

Downing College, University of Cambridge

won a scholarship

East Ham Grammar School




Disclosed he was suffering with cancer after publication of novel "A Night with Casanova"


Final produced screenplay "Almonds and Raisins"


Was adjunct professor of English at the University of New Mexico


Declared bankrupcy after losing a fight with British Inland Revenue which claimed he owed thousands in back taxes


Turned his biography "Dickens of London" into a TV miniseries (aired in the USA on PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre")


Last screenplay for a decade, "The Hireling"


Sold antiques business


Purchased home in County Cork, Ireland


Contributed to the script of "Casino Royale"


Provided the book for the stage musical "Pickwick"


Scripted screen version of Jean Anouilh's "The Waltz of the Torreadors"


With director Val Guest, co-wrote original screenplay "The Day the Earth Caught Fire"; received British Film Academy Award for Best Screenplay


Began commuting with family between homes in England and Barbados


Penned screenplay adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's "The Millionairess"


Set up own theatrical production company


Wrote first screenplay "A Kid For Two Farthings", based on his book


First novel filmed, "Make Me an Offer"; also based on a musical play of his novel


Published first novel, "Make Me An Offer"


Started specializing in antique Wedgwood


Began career as antiques dealer with a small shop in the Piccadilly Arcade in London

At same time wrote poetry, articles of literary and theater criticism and was co-editor of two literary magazines.

Expanded business to include antique and modern ceramics and authored books about Wedgwood china

Became adjunct professor of theatre arts at the University of New Mexico

Bonus Trivia


Appointed Honorary Consul in Dublin to the Republic of Panama


Next >