What is the background of Harold Pinter?
The late British playwright Harold Pinter (1930-2008) was one of the most versatile literary figures of the past century, winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. In addition to several of his award-winning plays, Pinter was an actor, director, screenwriter, poet and political activist. Pinter was born in Hackney (east London) to Jewish parents of Polish descent. He was married first to the British actress Vivien Merchant and, later, to theatre historian Lady Antonia Fraser. Pinter acted in many of his own plays--on stage, film, TV and radio--and directed nearly 50 productions. He wrote more than 30 plays, among them The Birthday Party, The Caretaker and The Homecoming. Pinter won the Tony Award for Best Play (The Homecoming) in 1967, and he received Oscar nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay (The French Lieutenant's Woman and Betrayal) in 1983 and 1985. After recovering from bouts with oesophageal cancer, he died of liver cancer in 2008. His works were so unique in style and content that they became known as "Pinteresque."