Alan Bennett

Alan Bennett


5/19/1934, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Birth Name

Alan Bennett


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Alan was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire in 1934 to Walter (a butcher) and Lilian Mary. He attended Leeds Modern School, Oxford University (graduating with a BA in Modern History) and Cambridge and Bodmin (at the Joint Services School for Linguists). He went on to work as a…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Alan provided the voiceover for the children's animation Meg and Mog.

    • Alan has refused both a Knighthood and an Honorary Degree from Oxford.

    • Alan's Radio work as a writer includes The Great Jowett (1980), Dragon (1982), Uncle Clarence (1986) and The Lady in the Van (1990).

    • Alan collaborated with composer George Fenton on Hymn, to mark the 30th anniversary of the Medici Quartet.

    • After years of remaining tightlipped about his sexuality he came out, and revealed he was living with Rupert Thomas, editor for World of Interiors magazine.

    • In 1997 Alan had surgery and treatment for colon cancer, but he did not reveal it publicly until 2005, as he believed it to be a 'bore'.

    • Alan has published two volumes of diaries and essays: Writing Home and Untold Stories.

    • Alan's Theatre Awards

      Tony Awards
      Special Award for Beyond the Fringe (1963) (Winner).
      Best Play for The History Boys (2006) (Winner)

      Drama Desk Awards
      Outstanding New Play for Talking Heads (2003) (Nomination)
      Outstanding Play for The History Boys (2006) (Winner)

    • Two of Alan's plays have been performed on Broadway: Habeas Corpus (1975-1976) and The History Boys (2006). He has also appeared on Broadway in Beyond the Fringe (1962-1964).

    • In the Independent on Sunday's annual Pink List - the Top 100 most powerful and influential openly gay people in the UK, Alan was No. 10 in 2007, rising to 8 in 2008.

    • In 1995, Alan was nominated for a Best Screenplay Academy Award for The Madness of King George.

    • At 18, Alan did his National Service.

    • Alan attended Oxford as a scholarship student.

    • In 1987, he won the Evening Standard Film Award for Best Screenplay for Prick up Your Ears.

    • Alan has won the prestigious Laurence Olivier for the stage five times, for both acting and writing.

  • Quotes

    • Alan: I don't claim to know how higher education should be paid for; all I know is that it's morally wrong to expect students to get into debt. I voted for Labour because of this and feel let down. The party has betrayed itself and it will be viewed by history as a mistake.

    • (on how others see him)
      Alan: People have a notion of you, and it's all right. You know, they have a notion of me being this cosy, northern creature, cup-of-tea and all that stuff. That's all right, it doesn't bother me most of the time. Sometimes it's smothering, and you don't want to be in that box. But the older you get, the less you care, really.

    • (on allowing a woman to live in his garden in her car for 15 years)
      Alan: ... allow isn't quite the word. I was just faced with her - it was like Eleanor Roosevelt moving in! I just got used to it. I know this sounds odiously modest, but I don't think it needed much goodness. It's more laziness. Just as you can do harm by being lazy, you can do some good as well.