Playwright and screenwriter Beverley Cross is best remembered for launching the illustrious career of actress Dame Maggie Smith. The son of an actress and a theater manager, Cross penned the libretto for Half a Sixpence in 1963 (he penned the screenplay in 1967). He wrote his first play in the late '50s. His second play, Strip the Willow (1960), starred a young Maggie Smith, and while it only played regionally outside of London, her performance garnered her the good reviews that would lead to her being a staple of British stage and screen. Within a couple years of their meeting, Cross left his first wife for Smith, with whom he lived for a while. They broke up, married others, and divorced. In 1975, Smith and Cross reunited and married. Cross' screenplays include Jason and the Argonauts (1963), Ghengis Khan (1965), and Clash of the Titans (1981).