46 Facts About John Osborne


John James Osborne was an English playwright, screenwriter and actor known for writing prose that criticized established social and political norms.


John Osborne was born on 12 December 1929 in London, the son of Thomas Godfrey John Osborne, a commercial artist and advertising copywriter of South Welsh ancestry, and Nellie Beatrice Grove, a Cockney barmaid.


Thomas John Osborne died in 1941, leaving the young boy an insurance settlement which he used to pay for a private education at Belmont College, a minor public school in Barnstaple that closed in the 1960s.


John Osborne entered the school in 1943, but was expelled in the summer term of 1945.


John Osborne claimed this was for hitting the headmaster, who had struck him for listening to a broadcast by Frank Sinatra, but another former pupil asserted that John Osborne was caught fighting with other pupils and did not assault the headmaster.


John Osborne soon became involved as a stage manager and actor, joining Anthony Creighton's provincial touring company.


John Osborne tried his hand at writing plays, co-writing his first, The Devil Inside Him, with his mentor Stella Linden, who then directed it at the Theatre Royal in Huddersfield in 1950.


John Osborne's play is largely autobiographical, based on his time living, and arguing, with Pamela Lane in cramped accommodation in Derby, while she had an affair with a local dentist.


John Osborne was living on a houseboat with Creighton at Cubitts Yacht Basin in Chiswick on the River Thames at the time and eating stewed nettles from the riverbank.


Devine had to row out to the houseboat to tell John Osborne he was accepting the play.


John Osborne told Osborne that he disliked the play and feared it would be impossible to market.


John Osborne followed The Entertainer with The World of Paul Slickey, a musical that satirizes the tabloid press; the televised documentary play A Subject of Scandal and Concern ; and the double bill Plays for England, comprising The Blood of the Bambergs and Under Plain Cover.


In between these plays, John Osborne won an Oscar for his 1963 screenplay adaptation of Tom Jones.


John Osborne's plays in the 1970s included West of Suez, starring Ralph Richardson; 1975's The End of Me Old Cigar; and Watch It Come Down, starring Frank Finlay.


John Osborne raised money for the local church roof by opening his garden to the public, and threatened to withdraw funding for this unless the vicar restored the Book of Common Prayer.


John Osborne was a great fan of comic Max Miller, and saw parallels between them:.


John Osborne claimed that it was his childhood memories of music hall that inspired The Entertainer, "not, as I was told authoritatively by others, the influence of Bertolt Brecht".


John Osborne helped to make it artistically respected again, throwing off the formal constraints of the former generation, and turning public attention once more to language, theatrical rhetoric, and emotional intensity.


John Osborne wanted his plays to be a reminder of real pleasures and real pains.


John Osborne devoted his life to trying to forge some sort of connection between the acuteness of his mind and the extraordinary power of his heart.


John Osborne did change the world of theatre, influencing playwrights such as Edward Albee and Mike Leigh.


John Osborne carried these affiliations with him into adult life, alienating fellow commuters and colleagues by regularly bringing a copy of the Daily Worker into the office as a young journalist.


John Osborne protested about "the Christmas Island explosion" and what he perceived as the blindly supportive response of the British media.


John Osborne joined the CND in 1959, and in the early '60s was a member of the Committee of 100 who engaged in civil disobedience to protest against nuclear weapons.


John Osborne had many affairs and frequently mistreated his wives and lovers.


John Osborne was married five times, all being unhappy unions.


John Osborne outlived three of his wives, being survived only by the first and the last, both of whom have since died.


John Osborne had just recently shorn her hair down to a defiant auburn stubble and I was impressed by the hostility she had created by this self-isolating act.


Lane and John Osborne married in nearby Wells and then left Bridgwater the following Sunday amidst an uneasy truce with Lane's parents, spending their first night as a married couple together in the Cromwell Road in London.


John Osborne spent much of the next two years before their divorce hoping they would reconcile.


In 1956, after the opening of Look Back in Anger, John Osborne met Lane at the railway station in York, where she told John Osborne of her recent abortion and enquired after his relationship with Mary Ure.


John Osborne began a relationship with Ure shortly after meeting her when she was cast as Alison in Look Back in Anger in 1956, while he was married to Pamela Lane.


John Osborne began to lose regard for her acting abilities.


John Osborne had a rather harsh voice and a tiny range.


John Osborne met his third wife, writer Penelope Gilliatt, initially through social connections, and then through an interview she conducted with him.


One great attraction Penelope held for John Osborne was her red hair: "I took red hair to be the mantle of goddesses".


John Osborne had an abusive relationship with his daughter and cast her out of his house when she was 17; they never spoke again.


John Osborne had put a refrigerator in the couple's bedroom and filled it with champagne to alleviate his night terrors.


John Osborne treated with contempt what he saw as Gilliatt's growing pretentiousness.


John Osborne had a turbulent nine-year marriage to the actress Jill Bennett.


John Osborne said of Bennett, "She was the most evil woman I have come across", and showed open contempt for her suicide.


John Osborne died deeply in debt; his final word to Dawson was: "Sorry".


Around the time of Look Back in Anger, John Osborne was a vegetarian, something which was considered unusual at the time.


John Osborne died in 1994 from complications from his diabetes at the age of 65 at his home in Clunton, near Craven Arms, Shropshire.


John Osborne is buried in St George's churchyard, Clun, Shropshire.


John Osborne began placing his papers at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin in the 1960s, with additions made throughout his life and by relatives in the years after his death.