Anthony Shaffer

Active - 1971 - 2007  |   Born - May 15, 1926   |   Died - Nov 6, 2001   |   Genres - Mystery, Comedy, Drama, Horror

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Biography by Jason Buchanan

A former barrister-cum-dramatist well known for such successful thrillers as Sleuth and Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, writer Anthony Shaffer penned numerous works over his fruitful career, though it was Sleuth that proved to be Shaffer's most enduring work among fans. The British-born writer worked briefly as an advertising copywriter early in his career, before hitting the jackpot with his first major play, Sleuth, which ran for an incredible eight years (2,359 performances) in London's West End before relocating to Broadway for another 2,000 performances and a Tony for Best Play. Later transferred to celluloid and starring Michael Caine and Laurence Olivier, it was once said to Shaffer that Sleuth was being performed somewhere in the world every day since he wrote it. Embracing the success as both a blessing and a curse, Shaffer also penned the popular cult thriller The Wicker Man in 1973. Adapting Agatha Christie for the big screen, Shaffer wrote the screenplays for both Death on the Nile (1978) and Evil Under the Sun (1982), in addition to his uncredited work on Murder on the Orient Express (1974). His twin brother, Peter, also a playwright, penned Black Comedy and Equus. On November 6, 2001, Anthony Shaffer died of a heart attack in his London home. He was 75.

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