Ronald Horwitz Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Born Ronald Horwitz in South Africa, British dramatist Ronald Harwood started out to be an actor and became the author of The Dresser, one of the most renowned English plays of the 1980’s. He moved to England in 1951 and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, then joined the touring company of famous Shakespearian actor Sir Donald Wolfit in 1953. When Harwood decided to abandon his acting career shortly afterward, he became Wolfit’s backstage dresser.{$S[A]Horwitz, Ronald;Harwood, Ronald}

Harwood’s writing career began with the production of his teleplay The Barber of Stamford Hill in 1960, and the range of his writing since has been significant in terms of the genres in which he has worked, though the legitimate stage turned out to be his métier. His diverse interests are evident in his subject matter, too. Sarah Bernhardt is the subject of After the Lions. The title of The Deliberate Death of a Polish Priest: A Play Based on the Transcripts of a Trial and Other Material Arising Out of the Murder of Father Jerzy Popie Uszko speaks for itself. J. J. Farr is about a lapsed priest who struggles to recover his faith and discovers the nature of freedom when he is a hostage in the Middle East. Reflected Glory is about the jealousy of a man whose younger brother’s successful plays and films are drawn from family experiences. Poison Pen is based on an actual event—a music critic receives death threats from a composer he accused of plagiarizing from the works of Frederick Delius. Taking Sides is about conductor Wilheim Furtwäengler’s Nazi activities during World War II and premiered under the direction of Harold Pinter. In Mahler’s Conversion, the composer faces...

(The entire section is 727 words.)