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Sir Peter Levin Shaffer, CBE (15 May 1926 – 6 June 2016) was an English playwright and screenwriter of numerous award-winning plays, of which several have been turned into films.

Contents

1 Early life 2 Theatrical career 3 Screen adaptations 4 Personal life 5 Peter Antony 6 Awards 7 Honours 8 Selected works 9 References 10 External links

Early life[edit] Shaffer was born to a Jewish
Jewish
family in Liverpool, the son of Reka (née Fredman) and Jack Shaffer, an estate agent.[1][2] He was the identical twin brother of fellow playwright Anthony Shaffer. He was educated at the Hall School, Hampstead, and St Paul's School, London, and subsequently he gained a scholarship to Trinity College, Cambridge, to study history. Shaffer was a Bevin Boy
Bevin Boy
coal miner during World War II, and took a number of jobs including bookstore clerk, and assistant at the New York Public Library, before discovering his dramatic talents.[citation needed] Theatrical career[edit] Shaffer's first play, The Salt Land (1954), was presented on the BBC. Encouraged by this success, Shaffer continued to write and established his reputation as a playwright in 1958, with the production of Five Finger Exercise,[3] which opened in London under the direction of John Gielgud and won the Evening Standard Drama Award. When Five Finger Exercise moved to New York City
New York City
in 1959, it was equally well received and landed Shaffer the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award
New York Drama Critics' Circle Award
for Best Foreign Play. Shaffer's next piece was a double bill, The Private Ear/The Public Eye, two plays each containing three characters and concerning aspects of love. They were presented in May 1962 at the Globe Theatre, and both starred Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
and Kenneth Williams. Smith won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Leading Actress at the age of 27.[citation needed] The National Theatre was established in 1963, and virtually all of Shaffer's subsequent work was done in its service. His canon contains a unique mix of philosophical dramas and satirical comedies. The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964) presents the tragic conquest of Peru
Peru
by the Spanish, while Black Comedy (1965) takes a humorous look at the antics of a group of characters feeling their way around a pitch black room — although the stage is actually flooded with light.[citation needed] Equus (1973) won Shaffer the 1975 Tony Award for Best Play
Tony Award for Best Play
as well as the New York Drama Critics' Circle
New York Drama Critics' Circle
Award. A journey into the mind of a 17-year-old stableboy who had plunged a spike into the eyes of six horses, Equus ran for over 1,000 performances on Broadway. It was revived by Massachusetts' Berkshire Theatre Festival
Berkshire Theatre Festival
in the summers of 2005 and 2007, by director Thea Sharrock at London's Gielgud Theatre in February 2007, and on Broadway (in the Sharrock staging) in September 2008. The latter production, which ran in New York until February 2009, required the stableboy to appear naked; its star, Daniel Radcliffe, was still associated with the Harry Potter films intended for general audiences, and this led to mild controversy.[4] Shaffer followed this success with Amadeus (1979) which won the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics' Award for the London production. This tells the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and court composer Antonio Salieri
Antonio Salieri
who, overcome with jealousy at hearing the "voice of God" coming from an "obscene child", sets out to destroy his rival. When the show moved to Broadway it won the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play and, like Equus, ran for more than 1,000 performances.[citation needed] After the success of Amadeus, Shaffer wrote the play Lettice and Lovage specifically for Dame Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
in 1986, for which he was nominated for another Tony Award
Tony Award
and Dame Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
eventually won the Tony Award
Tony Award
for best actress after three nominations in 1990. Lettice and Lovage also enabled Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack
to win the award for best featured actress, and the production was nominated for best direction of a play, at the 1990 Tony Awards.[citation needed] Screen adaptations[edit] Several of Shaffer's plays have been adapted to film, including Five Finger Exercise (1962), The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969), The Public Eye (1962), from which he adapted the 1972 film Follow Me! (1972), Equus (1977), and Amadeus (1984), which won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture. Shaffer received two Academy Award
Academy Award
nominations for adapting his plays Equus and Amadeus for the big screen. For writing the screenplay for Equus, he was nominated for the 1977 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar but the award went to Alvin Sargent, who wrote the screenplay for Julia. For writing the screenplay for Amadeus, Shaffer received both the 1984 Best Screenplay Golden Globe
Golden Globe
and the 1984 Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. Personal life[edit] Shaffer was homosexual but did not write explicitly about it. His partner Robert Leonard died in 1990.[5] Shaffer died on 6 June 2016 at the age of 90 while on a trip to the southwest of Ireland.[6][7][8] Peter Antony[edit] He co-wrote three detective novels with his brother Anthony Shaffer under the pseudonym Peter Antony.

The Woman in the Wardrobe (1951) How Doth the Little Crocodile?
How Doth the Little Crocodile?
(1952) Withered Murder (1955)

Awards[edit] Shaffer received the William Inge
William Inge
Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre in 1992. Two years later he was appointed Cameron Mackintosh
Cameron Mackintosh
Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University.[citation needed] In 1993 he was awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Letters) by the University of Bath.[9] Shaffer's play, Five Finger Exercise
Five Finger Exercise
won the Evening Standard Drama Award when it premiered in London and then won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play when it moved to New York City.[10] Shaffer's play, Equus won the 1975 Tony Award for Best Play
Tony Award for Best Play
and the New York Drama Critics' Circle
New York Drama Critics' Circle
that year as well.[citation needed] His screenplay adaptation of the play was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 1977.[citation needed] Shaffer's play Amadeus won the Evening Standard Drama Award and the Theatre Critics' Award for its initial London production. Upon moving to Broadway, Amadeus won the 1981 Tony Award
Tony Award
for Best Play.[citation needed] His screenplay adaptation of the play won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar as well as the Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Best Screenplay in 1984. Shaffer's play Lettice and Lovage was nominated for another Tony Award, and for her performance in it, Dame Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith
won the Tony Award for best actress after three nominations in 1990. Lettice and Lovage also won best supporting actress for Margaret Tyzack
Margaret Tyzack
and was nominated for best direction of a play in 1990 Tony Awards.[11] Honours[edit] Shaffer was awarded the CBE in 1987 and named Knight Bachelor
Knight Bachelor
in the 2001 New Year's Honours. In 2007 he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[12] Selected works[edit]

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The Salt Land (1954) Balance of Terror (1957) The Prodigal Father (1957) Five Finger Exercise
Five Finger Exercise
(1958) The Private Ear and The Public Eye (1962) The Establishment (1963) The Merry Roosters Panto (1963) The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964), a theatre piece on Atahualpa, the last emperor of the Tahuantinsuyu. Black Comedy (1965) The White Liars (1967) Shrivings (1970) Equus (1973) Amadeus (1979) Black Mischief (1983) Yonadab (1985) Lettice and Lovage (1987) Whom Do I Have the Honour of Addressing? (1990) The Gift of the Gorgon (1992)

References[edit]

^ " Peter Shaffer Biography". Filmreference.com. 1926-05-15. Retrieved 2010-09-14.  ^ "The Jewish
Jewish
Daily Forward". Forward.com. Retrieved 2010-09-14.  ^ Stevens, Christopher (2010). Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray. p. 377. ISBN 1-84854-195-3.  ^ "Naked stage role for Potter star". BBC
BBC
News. 28 July 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-22.  ^ " Peter Shaffer wanted to make elaborate theatre – and he succeeded". 6 June 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016 – via The Guardian.  ^ "Birthdays today". The Telegraph. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2014. Sir Peter Shaffer, playwright, is 87  ^ "Equus and Amadeus playwright Peter Shaffer dies aged 90". The Guardian. 6 June 2016. Retrieved 6 June 2016.  ^ "'Equus' and 'Amadeus' playwright Peter Shaffer dies at 90".  ^ "Honorary Graduates 1989 to present". bath.ac.uk. University of Bath. Retrieved 18 February 2012.  ^ " Five Finger Exercise
Five Finger Exercise
Broadway @ Music Box Theatre - Tickets and Discounts - Playbill". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ "1990 Tony Award
Tony Award
Winners (BroadwayWorld.com)". Retrieved 31 December 2016.  ^ "Hall of Fame: theater veterans get a night in limelight". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Peter Shaffer

Peter Shaffer on IMDb Peter Shaffer at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Transcript and clips of an interview by Mike Wood for the William Inge Center for the Arts. List of Publications.

v t e

Academy Award
Academy Award
for Best Adapted Screenplay

1928–1950

Benjamin Glazer (1928) Hanns Kräly (1929) Frances Marion
Frances Marion
(1930) Howard Estabrook
Howard Estabrook
(1931) Edwin J. Burke (1932) Victor Heerman
Victor Heerman
and Sarah Y. Mason
Sarah Y. Mason
(1933) Robert Riskin
Robert Riskin
(1934) Dudley Nichols (1935) Pierre Collings
Pierre Collings
and Sheridan Gibney (1936) Heinz Herald, Geza Herczeg, and Norman Reilly Raine
Norman Reilly Raine
(1937) Ian Dalrymple, Cecil Arthur Lewis, W. P. Lipscomb, and George Bernard Shaw (1938) Sidney Howard
Sidney Howard
(1939) Donald Ogden Stewart
Donald Ogden Stewart
(1940) Sidney Buchman and Seton I. Miller (1941) George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, and Arthur Wimperis (1942) Philip G. Epstein, Julius J. Epstein, and Howard E. Koch (1943) Frank Butler, and Frank Cavett (1944) Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder
Billy Wilder
(1945) Robert Sherwood (1946) George Seaton
George Seaton
(1947) John Huston
John Huston
(1948) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(1949) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
(1950)

1951–1975

Harry Brown and Michael Wilson (1951) Charles Schnee (1952) Daniel Taradash (1953) George Seaton
George Seaton
(1954) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1955) John Farrow, S. J. Perelman, and James Poe (1956) Carl Foreman
Carl Foreman
and Michael Wilson (1957) Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner
(1958) Neil Paterson (1959) Richard Brooks
Richard Brooks
(1960) Abby Mann (1961) Horton Foote (1962) John Osborne
John Osborne
(1963) Edward Anhalt (1964) Robert Bolt (1965) Robert Bolt (1966) Stirling Silliphant (1967) James Goldman (1968) Waldo Salt (1969) Ring Lardner Jr.
Ring Lardner Jr.
(1970) Ernest Tidyman (1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1972) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1973) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1974) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
and Lawrence Hauben (1975)

1976–2000

William Goldman
William Goldman
(1976) Alvin Sargent (1977) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) Alvin Sargent (1980) Ernest Thompson
Ernest Thompson
(1981) Costa-Gavras
Costa-Gavras
and Donald E. Stewart (1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983) Peter Shaffer (1984) Kurt Luedtke (1985) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1986) Bernardo Bertolucci
Bernardo Bertolucci
and Mark Peploe (1987) Christopher Hampton
Christopher Hampton
(1988) Alfred Uhry
Alfred Uhry
(1989) Michael Blake (1990) Ted Tally (1991) Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Eric Roth (1994) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
(1996) Curtis Hanson
Curtis Hanson
and Brian Helgeland (1997) Bill Condon (1998) John Irving
John Irving
(1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000)

2001–present

Akiva Goldsman
Akiva Goldsman
(2001) Ronald Harwood (2002) Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Fran Walsh (2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) William Monahan
William Monahan
(2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Geoffrey S. Fletcher
Geoffrey S. Fletcher
(2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Alexander Payne, Jim Rash, and Nat Faxon
Nat Faxon
(2011) Chris Terrio (2012) John Ridley
John Ridley
(2013) Graham Moore (2014) Adam McKay
Adam McKay
and Charles Randolph (2015) Barry Jenkins
Barry Jenkins
and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Tarell Alvin McCraney
(2016) James Ivory
James Ivory
(2017)

v t e

Golden Globe
Golden Globe
Award for Best Screenplay

Robert Bolt (1965) Robert Bolt (1966) Stirling Silliphant (1967) Stirling Silliphant (1968) Bridget Boland, John Hale and Richard Sokolove (1969) Erich Segal
Erich Segal
(1970) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1971) Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola
and Mario Puzo
Mario Puzo
(1972) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1973) Robert Towne
Robert Towne
(1974) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
and Lawrence Hauben (1975) Paddy Chayefsky
Paddy Chayefsky
(1976) Neil Simon
Neil Simon
(1977) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
(1978) Robert Benton (1979) William Peter Blatty
William Peter Blatty
(1980) Ernest Thompson
Ernest Thompson
(1981) John Briley (1982) James L. Brooks
James L. Brooks
(1983) Peter Shaffer (1984) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(1985) Robert Bolt (1986) Bernardo Bertolucci, Mark Peploe and Enzon Ungari (1987) Naomi Foner (1988) Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
and Ron Kovic
Ron Kovic
(1989) Michael Blake (1990) Callie Khouri
Callie Khouri
(1991) Bo Goldman
Bo Goldman
(1992) Steven Zaillian (1993) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(1994) Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson
(1995) Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (1996) Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck
and Matt Damon
Matt Damon
(1997) Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
(1998) Alan Ball (1999) Stephen Gaghan
Stephen Gaghan
(2000) Akiva Goldsman
Akiva Goldsman
(2001) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2002) Sofia Coppola
Sofia Coppola
(2003) Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
and Jim Taylor (2004) Larry McMurtry
Larry McMurtry
and Diana Ossana (2005) Peter Morgan (2006) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (2007) Simon Beaufoy (2008) Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
and Sheldon Turner (2009) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2010) Woody Allen
Woody Allen
(2011) Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino
(2012) Spike Jonze
Spike Jonze
(2013) Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo (2014) Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin
(2015) Damien Chazelle
Damien Chazelle
(2016) Martin McDonagh
Martin McDonagh
(2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 108585102 LCCN: n79006446 ISNI: 0000 0001 0931 6042 GND: 118796852 SELIBR: 225122 SUDOC: 033509778 BNF: cb124369716 (data) BIBSYS: 90108356 NDL: 00456196 BNE: XX830599 SN

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