Harold Pinter

On this date in 1930, playwright Harold Pinter was born in East London to a Jewish family. He briefly studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and acted under the name "David Baron." The playwright, director, actor, poet and political activist wrote 29 plays, 21 screenplays and directed 27 theater productions. His plays include "The Birthday Party," "The Caretaker," "The Homecoming," and "The Betrayal." Screenplays include "The Servant," The Go-Between," "The French Lieutenant's Woman," and "The Handmaid's Tale." Pinter's many awards include the Wilfred Owen Prize for poetry opposing the Iraq Conflict, the Shakespeare Prize (Hamburg), the European Prize for Literature (Vienna) and the Laurence Olivier Award. He was married to Lady Antonia Fraser. Pinter continued to dabble in acting, including portraying Sir Thomas Bertrand in the film, "Mansfield Park." His recent fight against cancer, he said, had fortified his commitment to political activism. That activism included signing a letter to the BBC asking that their daily "Thought for the Day" should also include those with secular views. D. 2008.

Photo by Illuminations Films and OTRS under CC 3.0

“You know, I had my bar mitzvah when I was thirteen and I never entered a synagogue again. I've been to one or two marriages, I think, but I've never had anything to do with it.”

—-Harold Pinter, interview with Ramona Koval, "Books and Writing," Radio National, Sept. 15, 2002

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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