Terence Rattigan is one of Britain’s greatest playwrights.
He was born on 10 June 1911 and educated at Harrow (Scholar) from 1925-1930 and Trinity College, Oxford (History Scholarship) to 1933. By 1934 he had become a full-time playwright. He served as a flight lieutenant in the Coastal Command, RAF from 1940-1945.
His many successful plays include: French Without Tears, After the Dance, Flare Path, Love In Idleness, While the Sun Shines, The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, Harlequinade, Adventure Story, Who is Sylvia?,
The Deep Blue Sea, The Sleeping Prince, Separate Tables, Variation on a Theme, Ross, Man and Boy, A Bequest to the Nation, In Praise of Love and Cause Célèbre.
Terence Rattigan still holds the record of being the only playwright to have notched more than 1000 performances for two separate plays, namely, French Without Tears and While the Sun Shines. During the war years, he had 3 plays running on Shaftesbury Avenue: Flare Path at the Apollo, While the Sun Shines at the Globe, and Love in Idleness at the Lyric. He also wrote screenplays of French Without Tears, The Way to the Stars, Journey Together, While the Sun Shines, The Winslow Boy, The Browning Version, The Prince and the Showgirl, Separate Tables, The Sound Barrier, The Man Who Loved Redheads, The Deep Blue Sea, The Final Test, The VIPs, The Yellow Rolls Royce, Goodbye Mr Chips, Conduct Unbecoming, and A Bequest to the Nation – and collaborated on The Quiet Wedding, The Day Will Dawn, English Without Tears, Uncensored, Brighton Rock and Bond Street. His television plays include: Heart to Heart, All On Her Own and High Summer. After the Dance was shown in the performance series on BBC2 in 1993 and The Deep Blue Sea was recorded for the same series.
In 1958 he was awarded a CBE, and in 1971 he became Knight Bachelor.
Sir Terence Rattigan died in 1977. He left his estate to charity with all royalties from his plays being donated to Denville Hall, a home for retired actors founded in 1926.
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