Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan CBE (10 June 1911 – 30 November 1977) was a British dramatist and screenwriter. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. He wrote The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954), among many others.
A troubled homosexual who saw himself as an outsider, Rattigan wrote a number of plays which centred on issues of sexual frustration, failed relationships, or a world of repression and reticence.
Terence Rattigan was born in 1911 in South Kensington, London, of Irish Protestant extraction. Rattigan's birth certificate and his birth announcement in The Times indicate he was born on 9 June 1911. However, most reference books state that he was born the following day; Rattigan himself never publicly disputed this date. There is evidence suggesting that the date on the birth certificate is incorrect. He was given no middle name, but he adopted the middle name "Mervyn" in early adulthood.
He had an elder brother, Brian. They were the grandsons of Sir William Henry Rattigan, an India-based jurist, and later a Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament for North-East Lanarkshire. His father was Frank Rattigan CMG, a diplomat whose exploits included an affair with Princess Elisabeth of Romania (future consort of King George II of Greece) which resulted in her having an abortion. The Royal House of Romania is considered to be the inspiration of Rattigan's play The Sleeping Prince.
Rattigan was educated at Sandroyd School from 1920 to 1925, and Harrow School. Rattigan played cricket for the Harrow First XI and scored 29 in the Eton–Harrow match in 1929. He then went to Trinity College, Oxford.
His success as a playwright came early, with the comedy French Without Tears in 1936 which was inspired by his 1933 visit to a village called Marxzell in the Black Forest, where young English gentlemen went to learn German.
Rattigan's determination to write a more serious play produced After the Dance (1939), a satirical social drama about the "bright young things" and their failure to politically engage. The outbreak of the Second World War scuppered any chances of a long run.
During the war, Rattigan served in the Royal Air Force as a tail gunner. After the war, Rattigan alternated between comedies and dramas, establishing himself as a major playwright: the most successful of which were The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952), and Separate Tables (1954).
Rattigan's belief in understated emotions and craftsmanship was deemed old fashioned after the overnight success in 1956 of John Osborne's Look Back in Anger began the era of kitchen sink dramas by the writers known as the Angry Young Men. Rattigan responded to this critical disfavour with some bitterness. His plays Ross, Man and Boy, In Praise of Love, and Cause Célèbre, however show no sign of any decline in his talent. Rattigan explained that he wrote his plays to please a symbolic playgoer, "Aunt Edna", someone from the well-off middle-class who had conventional tastes.
Rattigan was gay, with numerous lovers but no long-term partners.
It has been claimed his work is essentially autobiographical, containing coded references to his sexuality, which he kept secret from all but his closest friends.
Rattigan was fascinated with the life and character of T. E. Lawrence. In 1960 he wrote a play called Ross, based on Lawrence's exploits. Preparations were made to film it, and Dirk Bogarde accepted the role. However, it did not proceed because the Rank Organisation withdrew its support, not wishing to offend David Lean and Sam Spiegel, who had started to film Lawrence of Arabia. Bogarde called Rank's decision "my bitterest disappointment".
The same year, a musical version of French Without Tears was staged as Joie de Vivre, with music by Robert Stolz of White Horse Inn fame. It starred Donald Sinden, lasted only four performances, and has never been revived.
Rattigan was diagnosed as having leukaemia in 1962 and recovered two years later, but fell ill again in 1968. He disliked the so-called Swinging London of the 1960s and moved abroad, living in Bermuda, where he lived off the proceeds from lucrative screenplays including The V.I.P.s and The Yellow Rolls-Royce. For a time he was the highest-paid screenwriter in the world.
In 1964, Rattigan invested £3,000 in young playwright Joe Orton's outrageous comedy Entertaining Mr Sloane, trying to get the play transferred to the West End. Although an unlikely champion of the risqué Orton, Rattigan recognised the younger man's talent and approved of what he considered a very well written piece of theatre.
Rattigan was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of June 1971 for services to the theatre, being only the fourth playwright to be knighted in the 20th century (after Sir W. S. Gilbert in 1907, Sir Arthur Wing Pinero in 1909 and Sir Noël Coward in 1970). He had previously been appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), in June 1958. He moved back to Britain, where he experienced a minor revival in his reputation before his death.
Terence Rattigan died in Hamilton, Bermuda, from bone cancer in 1977, aged 66. His cremated remains were deposited in the family vault at Kensal Green Cemetery.
In 1990, the British Library acquired Rattigan's papers consisting of 300 volumes of correspondence and papers relating to his prose and dramatic works.
There was a revival of of his plays since early 90s, In 2011, the BBC presented The Rattigan Enigma by Benedict Cumberbatch, a documentary on Rattigan's life and career presented by actor Benedict Cumberbatch, who, like Rattigan, attended Harrow.
A new screen version of The Deep Blue Sea, directed by Terence Davies, was released in 2011, starring Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston.
Tamara Rojo CBE (born 17 May 1974) is a Spanish ballet dancer. She is English National Ballet's artistic director and a lead principal dancer with the company. She was previously a principal dancer with The Royal Ballet.
Tamara Rojo CBE (Montreal, Canadá, 17 de mayo de 1974) es una bailarina y directora de ballet española. En la actualidad es directora artística del English National Ballet en Londres. Anteriormente fue bailarina principal de The Royal Ballet. En enero de 2016 Tamara Rojo se doctoró ‘cum laude’ en la URJC.
Tamara Rojo was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Spanish parents who returned with her to Spain when she was 4 months old. At the age of 5 she began dance classes in Madrid and became a full-time student age 11 at Madrid's Royal Professional Conservatory of Dance.
Though her parents were pleased at her developing balletic talent, they insisted Rojo also complete an academic education through evening classes she could attend after studio rehearsals. Having graduated from the Conservatory at 16, she completed her secondary studies over the next two years. She went on to complete further degrees including a bachelor of dance, master of scenic arts and a PhD in performing arts, becoming DA magna cum laude in 2016 from King Juan Carlos University.
Tamara Rojo began her professional career in 1991 with the Ballet de la Comunidad de Madrid, under the direction of Víctor Ullate. In 1994, she won Gold Medal at the Paris International Dance competition, together with a Special Jury Award from a panel including Natalia Makarova, Galina Samsova and Vladimir Vasiliev, three outstanding figures in the ballet world at that time.
In 1996 Galina Samsova, artistic director of Scottish Ballet, invited Rojo to join the company. There she performed principal roles in Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, La Sylphide and Cranko's Romeo and Juliet. Derek Deane, then English National Ballet artistic director, asked her to join ENB the following year. For her he created the roles of Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet" and Clara in "The Nutcracker" for which The Times named Rojo "Dance Revelation of the Year" in 1997. She also danced principal roles in Swan Lake, Paquita, Coppelia and Glen Tetley's The Sphinx.
Rojo approached Royal Ballet director Anthony Dowell in 2000 with a view to joining the company. Over the next 12 years, she performed major roles in most of the company's repertoire including ballets choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan and Frederick Ashton, Dowell's Swan Lake, Makarova's La Bayadere, Rudolph Nureyev's Don Quixote, and Peter Wright 's The Nutcracker. She danced in the world premiere of Snow White, created for her by choreographer Ricardo Cué. The title role in Isadora was recreated for her by MacMillan's widow, the artist and set designer Deborah MacMillan, custodian of the late choreographer's ballets.
In 2000, Rojo was asked at short notice to replace the injured Royal Ballet principal Darcey Bussell in the title role in Giselle. Ignoring her own sprained ankle, Rojo learned the role in a fortnight and went on to receive rave reviews. In 2002, while dancing Clara in Nutcracker, Rojo began to tremble on stage. Sent to a private hospital after the performance, she learned her appendix had burst and was told to take six weeks off. However, she resumed dancing after only two, relapsed and returned to hospital. Rojo admitted some years later it was "completely wrong and I do not feel that anyone should do this. It really is not worth it."
In 2003, while preparing for the Royal Ballet's Australian tour, Rojo suffered an infected bunion so serious that her foot swelled to the size of a tennis ball. Doctors recommended surgery on her foot, a potentially career-ending operation. Months later, after countless hours of rehabilitation, she resumed dancing and said the injury changed her perspective on life, her body and dance. She felt that she valued each and every day more and learned that nothing in life should be taken for granted.
After this experience, she and her father developed a device to stretch pointe shoes in order to reduce pressure on bunions, and formed a company in 2017 to market it.
In April 2012 it was announced that Rojo would become the artistic director of English National Ballet.
Under her direction the English National Ballet, for the first time in history, was invited to dance from 21 to 25 June 2016 at the Paris Opera Palais Garnier, the most famous ballets in its repertoire: Marius Petipa and Konstantin Sergeyev's version of Le Corsaire in a revival by Anna-Marie Holmes.
In 2014, she presented a documentary entitled Good Swan, Bad Swan: Dancing Swan Lake for the BBC and she followed up with Giselle: Belle of the Ballet in 2017, which included the history of the both the original production and the new ballet created for the ENB by Akram Khan. She had commissioned Khan to re-imagine the story: Khan went on to win the Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2017 for Best Classical Choreography and Alina Cojocaru won Outstanding Female Performance (Classical) as Giselle, and the company as a whole won an Olivier Award for Outstanding achievement in dance.
Rojo is set to make her choreographic debut with a Florence Nightingale-inspired version of Raymonda, set during the Crimean War. It is scheduled to premiere in January 2021, but the pandemic has postponed it.
Nació en la ciudad canadiense de Montreal donde residían sus padres, ambos de nacionalidad española. Cuando Tamara cumplió cuatro meses se trasladaron a España. Se inició en el Centro de Danza Víctor Ullate (1983-1991), completando su formación con David Howard y Renatto Paroni. Tras formar parte de la Compañía de Ullate (1991-1996), Galina Samsova la invitó a bailar en el Scottish Ballet (1996-1997). Con esta compañía interpretó, entre otras obras, El lago de los cisnes, El Cascanueces, Romeo y Julieta y La sylphide. Doctora con sobresaliente ‘cum laude’ en el Instituto Superior de Danza Alicia Alonso de la Universidad Rey Juan Carlos con la tesis: Perfil Psicológico de un Bailarín de alto nivel. Rasgos vocacionales del bailarín profesional. Anteriormente obtuvo el Máster en Artes Escénicas por la URJC.
Con 25 años fue bailarina principal en el English National Ballet (Ballet Nacional de Inglaterra) (1997-2000), categoría con la que se incorporó al The Royal Ballet de Londres, invitada por Anthony Dowell en julio de 2000.
Ha actuado, como artista invitada, entre otras compañías de ballet, con: el Ballet Mariinski, el ballet del Teatro de La Scala de Milán, el Tokyo Ballet, el ballet del Teatro Mijáilovski de San Petersbugo, el Ballet de la Ópera de Niza, el Arena de Verona, el Ballet Nacional de Cuba y el Ballet de la Ópera de Berlín y ha participado en numerosas galas de ámbito internacional.
Directora del English National Ballet a partir de septiembre de 2012, se comprometió a mantener los clásicos relevantes y renovados, lo que le encaminó a ofrecer al galardonado coreógrafo Akram Khan el desafío creativo de crear una nueva versión del ballet clásico Giselle. Bajo la dirección de Tamara Rojo, el English National Ballet fue invitado, por primera vez en la historia, a bailar del 21 al 25 de junio de 2016 en la Ópera de París Palais Garnier: Le Corsaire, de Marius Petipa y Konstantín Serguéiev, en la renovada versión de Anna-Marie Holmes.
En 2016 Rojo invitó al coreógrafo Akram Khan a recrear una nueva versión del icónico ballet romántico Giselle resultando un destacado éxito.
La pandemia de la COVID-19 retrasó el estreno de una renovada versión coreografiada por Tamara Rojo del ballet clásico Raymonda, inspirado en el espíritu revolucionario de la enfermera Florence Nighting para situar la escena en la Guerra de Crimea en 1854.
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead (January 31, 1902 – December 12, 1968) was an American stage and screen actress. She was a member of the Bankhead and Brockham family, a prominent Alabama political family. Both her grandfather and her uncle served as US Senators; her father served as a US Representative in Congress for 11 terms, the final two as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Primarily an actress of the stage, Bankhead appeared in several films including an award-winning performance in Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat (1944). She also had a brief but successful career on radio and made appearances on television as well.
In her personal life, Bankhead struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction; she reportedly smoked 120 cigarettes a day and often talked openly about her vices. She also openly had a series of relationships with both men and women.
Bankhead supported foster children and helped families escape the Spanish Civil War and World War II. She was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 1972, and the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1981. During her career, Bankhead amassed nearly 300 film, stage, television and radio roles.
Tallulah Brockman Bankhead was born on January 31, 1902, in Huntsville, Alabama, to William Brockman Bankhead and Adelaide Eugenia "Ada" Bankhead. "Tallu" was named after her paternal grandmother, who in turn was named after Tallulah Falls, Georgia. Her father hailed from the Bankhead-and-Brockman political family, and was the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1936 to 1940. Her mother, Adelaide "Ada" Eugenia, met her father William Bankhead on a trip to Huntsville to buy her wedding dress for her wedding with another man.
The two fell in love at first sight and were married on January 31, 1900, in Memphis, Tennessee. Their first child, Evelyn Eugenia (January 24, 1901 – May 11, 1979), was born two months prematurely and had some vision difficulties.
The following year, Tallulah was born on her parents' second wedding anniversary, on the second floor of what is now known as the Isaac Schiffman Building. which in 1980 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Three weeks after Bankhead's birth, her mother died of blood poisoning (sepsis) on February 23, 1902. Bankhead was baptized next to her mother's coffin.
William B. Bankhead was devastated by his wife's death, which sent him into a bout of depression and alcoholism. Consequently, Tallulah and her sister Eugenia were mostly reared by their paternal grandmother, Tallulah James Brockman Bankhead, at the family estate called "Sunset" in Jasper, Alabama.
As a child, Bankhead was described as "extremely homely" and overweight, while her sister was slim and prettier. As a result, she did everything in her efforts to gain attention, and constantly sought her father's approval. After watching a performance at a circus, she taught herself how to cartwheel, and frequently cartwheeled about the house, sang, and recited literature that she had memorized. She was prone to throwing tantrums, rolling around the floor, and holding her breath until she was blue in the face. Her grandmother often threw a bucket of water on her to halt these outbursts.
Bankhead's famously husky voice (which she described as "mezzo-basso") was the result of chronic bronchitis due to childhood illness. She was described as a performer and an exhibitionist from the beginning, discovering at an early age that theatrics gained her the attention she desired. Finding she had a gift for mimicry, she entertained her classmates by imitating the schoolteachers. Bankhead claimed that her "first performance" was witnessed by none other than the Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur, when her Aunt Marie gave the famous brothers a party at her home near Montgomery, Alabama, in which the guests were asked to entertain. Bankhead also found she had a prodigious memory for literature, memorizing poems and plays and reciting them dramatically.
In 1912, Tallulah and Eugenia were enrolled in the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattanville, New York when Eugenia was 11 and Tallulah was 10. As William's political career brought him to Washington, the girls were enrolled in a series of different schools, each one a step closer to Washington, D.C. When Bankhead was 15, her aunt encouraged her to take more pride in her appearance, suggesting that she go on a diet to improve her confidence. Bankhead quickly matured into a southern belle. The girls were not really tamed by the schools, however, as both Eugenia and Tallulah went on to have a lot of relationships and affairs during their lives. Eugenia was more of an old romantic as she got married at 16 and ended up marrying seven times to six different men during her life, while Tallulah was a stronger and even more rebellious personality, who sought a career in acting, was into lust in her relationships even more than love, and showed no particular interest in marrying, although she did marry actor John Emery. Bankhead married actor John Emery on August 31, 1937, at her father's home in Jasper, Alabama. Bankhead filed for divorce in Reno, Nevada, in May 1941. It was finalized on June 13, 1941. The day her divorce became final, Bankhead told a reporter, "You can definitely quote me as saying there will be no plans for a remarriage."
Bankhead was also childhood friends with American socialite, later novelist, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the wife of American author and expatriate F. Scott Fitzgerald.
At 15, Bankhead submitted her photo to Picture Play, which was conducting a contest and awarding a trip to New York plus a movie part to 12 winners based on their photographs. However, she forgot to send in her name or address with the picture. Bankhead learned that she was one of the winners while browsing the magazine at her local drugstore. Her photo in the magazine was captioned "Who is She?", urging the mystery girl to contact the paper at once. Her father Congressman William Bankhead sent in a letter to the magazine with her duplicate photo.
Arriving in New York, Bankhead discovered that her contest win was fleeting, but she quickly found her niche in New York City. She soon moved into the Algonquin Hotel, a hotspot for the artistic and literary elite of the era, where she quickly charmed her way into the famed Algonquin Round Table of the hotel bar. She was dubbed one of the "Four Riders of the Algonquin", consisting of Bankhead, Estelle Winwood, Eva Le Gallienne, and Blyth Daly. The Algonquin's wild parties introduced Bankhead to cocaine and marijuanam but she did abstain from drinking.
In 1919, after roles in three other silent films, When Men Betray (1918), Thirty a Week (1918), and The Trap (1919), Bankhead made her stage debut in The Squab Farm at the Bijou Theatre in New York. She soon realized her place was on stage rather than screen, and had roles in 39 East (1919), Footloose (1919), Nice People (1921), Everyday (1921), Danger (1922), Her Temporary Husband (1922), and The Exciters (1922). Though her acting was praised, the plays were commercially and critically unsuccessful. Bankhead had been in New York for five years, but had yet to score a significant hit.
Restless, Bankhead moved to London.
In 1923 she made her debut on the London stage at Wyndham's Theatre. She appeared in over a dozen plays in London over the next eight years, most famously in The Dancers and The Gold Diggers. Her fame as an actress was ensured in 1924 when she played Amy in Sidney Howard's They Knew What They Wanted. The show won the 1925 Pulitzer Prize.
While in London, Bankhead bought herself a Bentley, which she loved to drive. She was not very competent with directions and constantly found herself lost in the London streets.
During her eight years on the London stage and touring across Great Britain's theatres, Bankhead earned a reputation for making the most out of inferior material.
Bankhead returned to the United States in 1931, but Hollywood success eluded her in her first four films of the 1930s. She rented a home at 1712 Stanley Street in Hollywood and began hosting parties that were said to "have no boundaries". Bankhead's first film was Tarnished Lady (1931), directed by George Cukor, and the pair became fast friends. After over eight years of living in Great Britain and touring on their theatrical stages, she did not like living in Hollywood. Although Bankhead was not very interested in making films, the opportunity to make $50,000 per film was too good to pass up. Her 1932 movie Devil and the Deep is notable for the presence of three major co-stars, with Bankhead's receiving top billing over Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, and Cary Grant; it is the only film with Cooper and Grant as the film's leading men.
Returning to Broadway, Bankhead worked steadily in a series of middling plays which were, ironically, later turned into highly successful Hollywood films starring other actresses.
But Bankhead persevered, even through ill health. In 1933, at age 31, while performing in Jezebel, Bankhead nearly died following a five-hour emergency hysterectomy due to gonorrhea, which she claimed she had contracted from either Gary Cooper or George Raft. She had four abortions before she had a hysterectomy.
Weighing only 70 lb (32 kg) when she left the hospital, she vowed to continue her promiscuous and party lifestyle, stoically saying to her doctor "Don't think this has taught me a lesson!"
From 1936 to 1938, David O. Selznick, producer of Gone with the Wind (1939) called Bankhead the "first choice among established stars" to play Scarlett O'Hara in the upcoming film. Although her 1938 screen test for the role in black-and-white was superb, she photographed poorly in Technicolor. Selznick also reportedly believed that at age 36, she was too old to play Scarlett, who is 16 at the beginning of the film (the role eventually went to Vivien Leigh).
Her brilliant portrayal of the cold and ruthless, yet fiery Regina Giddens in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes (1939) won her Variety magazine's award for Best Actress of the Year. Bankhead as Regina was lauded as "one of the most electrifying performances in American theater history". During the run, she was featured on the cover of Life.
Bankhead earned another Variety award and the New York Drama Critics' Award for Best Performance by an Actress followed her role in Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth, in which Bankhead played Sabina, the housekeeper and temptress.
Bankhead appeared in a revival of Noël Coward's Private Lives, taking it on tour and then to Broadway for the better part of two years. The play's run made Bankhead a fortune. From that time, Bankhead could command 10% of the gross and was billed larger than any other actor in the cast.
Bankhead wrote a bestselling autobiography Tallulah: My Autobiography. (Harper & Bros., 1952) that was published in 1952. Though Bankhead's career slowed in the mid-1950s, she never faded from the public eye. Her highly public and often scandalous personal life began to undermine her reputation as a terrific actress, leading to criticism she had become a caricature of herself. Although a heavy smoker, heavy drinker, and consumer of sleeping pills, Bankhead continued to perform in the 1950s and 1960s on Broadway, radio, television, and in the occasional film, even as her body got more and more frail from the mid 1950s up until her death in 1968.
In addition to her many affairs with men, she was also linked romantically with female personalities of the day, including Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Hattie McDaniel, Beatrice Lillie, Alla Nazimova, Blyth Daly, writers Mercedes de Acosta and Eva Le Gallienne, and singer Billie Holiday. Actress Patsy Kelly confirmed she had a sexual relationship with Bankhead when she worked for her as a personal assistant.
Bankhead never publicly used the term "bisexual" to describe herself, preferring to use the term "ambisextrous" instead.
In her later years, Bankhead began to attract a passionate and highly loyal following of gay men, some of whom she employed as help when her lifestyle began to take a toll on her, affectionately calling them her "caddies". Though she had long struggled with addiction, her condition now worsened – she began taking dangerous cocktails of drugs to fall asleep, and her maid had to tape her arms down to prevent her from consuming pills during her periods of intermittent wakefulness. In her later years, Bankhead had serious accidents and several psychotic episodes from sleep deprivation and hypnotic drug abuse. Though she always hated being alone, her struggle with loneliness began to lapse into a depression. In 1956, playing the truth game with Tennessee Williams, she confessed, "I'm 54, and I wish always, always, for death. I've always wanted death. Nothing else do I want more."
Bankhead's most popular and perhaps best remembered television appearance was the December 3, 1957, The Ford Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show. Bankhead played herself in the classic episode titled "The Celebrity Next Door".
Her last theatrical appearance was in The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (1963), a revival of Tennessee Williams play. She had suffered a severe burn on her right hand from a match exploding while she lit a cigarette, and it was aggravated by the importance of jewelry props in the play. She took heavy painkillers, but these dried her mouth, and most critics thought that Bankhead's line readings were unintelligible.
Her last motion picture was in a British horror film, Fanatic (1965). For her role in Fanatic, she was paid $50,000. Her last appearances on television came in December 17, 1967, episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour comedy-variety TV series, in the "Mata Hari" skit.
Bankhead moved into 230 East 62nd Street in the late 1950s, and then to a co-op at 333 east 57th Street (#13-E).
Bankhead died at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan on December 12, 1968, at age 66. The cause of death was pleural double pneumonia. Her last coherent words reportedly were a garbled request for "codeine ... bourbon".
Despite claiming to be poor for much of her life, Bankhead left an estate valued at $2 million (equivalent to $14,884,211 in 2020).
A private funeral was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Kent County, Maryland, on December 14, 1968. A memorial service was held at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church in New York City on December 16. She was buried in Saint Paul's Churchyard, near Chestertown, Maryland, where her sister, Eugenia, lived.
For her contribution to the motion picture industry, Bankhead has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6141 Hollywood Blvd.