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More Richard Curtis Bios & Profiles

 

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Biography #2 (for Love Actually)

Richard Curtis was born in New Zealand in 1956 and raised in Manila, Stockholm, Folkestone and Warrington. He has now lived in London off and on for over 20 years.

He began writing comedy after leaving Oxford University in 1978. He had worked with Rowan Atkinson thereand continued to do so. His first job on television was writing for all four series of Not the Nine O'Clock News, a BBC program which was slightly topical and won some awards. He then went on to write the Blackadder series, a situation comedy set in four different eras of British history, always starring Rowan Atkinson in a different amusing haircut. It was slightly historical and also won some awards. The last three series were co-written with Ben Elton.

During these years, Richard, Rowan and Ben staged two West End comedy revues and Richard wrote his first film, The Tall Guy, directed by Mel Smith and starring Jeff Goldblum, Emma Thompson (in her film debut) and Rowan Atkinson as a cruel heartless comedian starring in a West End show. The film was not autobiographical and was produced by Working Title with whom Richard always has worked since.

Back on television, Richard and Rowan then began work on Mr. Bean, and continued for some years to make intermittent programs starring the man in the tie who says very little. In 1993, Richard wrote Bernard and the Genie, a wholesome Christmas fantasy starring Lenny Henry and Alan Cumming.

In December 1993, Richard was awarded the Writers Guild of Great Britain Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award.

His second film, Four Weddings and a Funeral, starring Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell, was directed by Mike Newell, produced by Duncan Kenworthy and released in March 1994. The film won a French Cesar, an Australian Academy Award and the BAFTA for Best Film. At the Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Film.

In 1994, Richard was made an MBE and started writing The Vicar of Dibley, a situation comedy for the BBC, starring Dawn French as a female vicar in a small village suspiciously full of eccentric characters.

The movie Bean, co-written with Robin Driscoll, directed by Mel Smith and starring Rowan Atkinson opened in Britain at the end of August 1997. It is about Mr. Bean's visit to America and has more dialogue in it than you would expect.

His next film, Notting Hill, starred Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and was released in May 1999 and for a while was the highest earning British film ever, making something like $350 million worldwide.

In 2001, Richard was co-writer of the award-winning screenplay Bridget Jones's Diary, starring Reneé Zellweger, Colin Firth and a nasty Hugh Grant.

His most recent film, on which he directed for the first time, is Love Actually, a story about lots of different kinds of love, set at Christmas and featuring 22 leading characters.

Richard Curtis is co-founder and vice-chairman of Comic Relief, the organization which runs Red Nose Day in Britain. He has co-produced the live nights of Comic Relief for the BBC since 1987. Comic Relief has made over £325,000,000 for charity projects in Africa and the U.K.

He is not married to Emma Freud and they have a daughter, Scarlett, and two sons, Jake and Charlie. In 2000, he was made a CBE.

Bio courtesy Universal Pictures for "Love Actually" (07-Nov-2003)


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