Harold Pinter was born in London in 1930. He lived with Antonia Fraser from 1975 until his death on Christmas Eve 2008. (They were married in 1980).
After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Central School of Speech and Drama, he worked as an actor under the stage name David Baron. Following his success as a playwright, he continued to act under his own name, on stage and screen. He last acted in 2006 when he appeared in Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape at the Royal Court Theatre, directed by Ian Rickson.
He wrote twenty-nine plays including The Birthday Party, The Dumb Waiter, A Slight Ache, The Hothouse, The Caretaker, The Collection, The Lover, The Homecoming, Old Times, No Man’s Land, Betrayal, A Kind of Alaska, One For The Road, The New World Order, Moonlight and Ashes to Ashes. Sketches include The Black and White, Request Stop, That’s your Trouble, Night, Precisely, Apart From that and the recently rediscovered, Umbrellas.
He directed twenty-seven theatre productions, including James Joyce's Exiles, David Mamet's Oleanna, seven plays by Simon Gray (one of which was Butley in 1971 which he directed the film of three years later) and many of his own plays including his last, Celebration, paired with his first, The Room at The Almeida Theatre, London in the spring of 2000.
He wrote twenty-one screenplays including The Pumpkin Eater, The Servant, The Go-Between, The French Lieutenant's Woman and Sleuth.
In 2005 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Other awards include the Companion of Honour for services to Literature, the Legion D’Honneur, the European Theatre Prize the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D'Honneur for lifetime achievement. In 1999 he was made a Companion of Literature by the Royal Society of Literature. Harold Pinter was awarded eighteen honorary degrees.