Playwright, Director, Actor. Regarded by many as the most influential British dramatist of his generation. He received the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature. Pinter's stage works have been called "comedies of menace" because they blend dark humor with a lurking but undefined sense of danger. His characters, often shut up in confined spaces, play cat-and-mouse games of dominance and survival; cryptic, non-sequitur dialogue, unexplained occurrences, and long pauses create even greater anxiety. "Language is a highly ambiguous commerce", he once said. "So often below the words spoken is the thing known but unspoken. I think we communicate only too well in our silences". Among his 29 plays are "The Dumb Waiter" (1957), "The Birthday Party" (1958), "The Dwarfs" (1960), "The Caretaker" (1960), "The Collection" (1961), "The Lover" (1963), "The Homecoming" (1965), "Old Times" (1971), "No Man's Land" (1975), and "Family Voices" (1981). Pinter was born in London, the son of a Jewish tailor. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and began his career as an actor, using the pseudonym David Baron; he would continue to perform on stage and screen throughout his life. In 1957 he started writing short plays that immediately gained critical notice, while "The Caretaker" gave him his first popular success. He was also active as a screenwriter and his collaborations with director Joseph Losey, "The Servant" (1963), "Accident" (1967), and "The Go-Between" (1971), are ranked among the high points of British cinema during that period. Pinter received Oscar nominations for "The French Lieutenant's Woman" (1981) and "Betrayal" (1983), the latter from his play. His other credits include "The Pumpkin Eater" (1964), "The Quiller Memorandum" (1966), "The Last Tycoon" (1976), "Turtle Diary" (1985), "The Handmaid's Tale", "The Comfort of Strangers" (both 1990), "The Trial" (1993), and "Sleuth" (2007). From the 1990s he focused his energies more on theatre direction and writing poetry. Named a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1966, he later refused a knighthood and grew increasingly critical of British and American political policy. Pinter was married to actress Vivien Merchant from 1956 to 1980, and from 1980 to author Antonia Fraser.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards
Beloved husband of Antonia Fraser
10 October 1930
Christmas Eve 2008
1922–1982 (m. 1956)