Christopher Hampton

Active - 1973 - 2020  |   Born - Jan 26, 1946 in Faial, A├žores, Portugal  |   Genres - Drama

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

One of Great Britain's most esteemed contemporary playwrights, Chris Hampton is best known in film for his Oscar-winning screenplays for Dangerous Liasons (1988), which he adapted from his own play, and his Academy Award nominated script for Atonement (2007), adapted from Ian McEwan's acclaimed novel. Hampton was born to British parents in the Azores. He was an 18-year-old student at Oxford when he had his first play produced. He earned his reputation for excellence while working as the resident dramatist at the Royal Court in London between 1968 and 1970. While there, he proved himself equally adept at adapting classic literature into plays as well as writing his own. His stage adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses brought him international acclaim. The young playwright's first screenplay was an adaptation of Ibsen's A Doll's House (1973). Hampton would not write another screenplay until he co-wrote Geschicten aus dern Weiner Wald/Tales From the Vienna Wood with Maximillian Schell (1979). In 1986, Hampton tried his hand at directing with the made-for-TV movie Hotel du Lac. Back in theater, Hampton earned acclaim for the libretto for Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Billy Wilder's classic film Sunset Boulevard (1950).

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  • Son of British parents.
  • Grew up in Aden, Egypt, Hong Kong and Zanzibar before settling in England.
  • His family fled Egypt during the Suez Crisis.
  • Won two Tony Awards in 1995.
  • In the 1999 Queen's Birthday Honors List, was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to literature.
  • In 2008, was ranked number 43 in Telegraph's list of the 100 most powerful people in British culture.
  • In the 2020 Queen's New Years Honors List, was awarded the Knight Bachelor of the Order of the British Empire for his services to Drama.