Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh, 1910 - 1987

portrait of Jean Anouilh
During performance of L'Arrestation at Athanaeum Theatre, Paris (September 1975)
Jean Anouilh signature
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Born: 23 June 1910, Cérisole, Bordeaux, France
Died: 3 October 1987, Lausanne, Switzerland

Anouilh was of Basque heritage, his father a tailor and his mother a violinist. He maintained that he learned pride in craftsmanship from his father and creativity from his mother. After attending local shools, he entered the University of Paris to study law but left after less than two years when he got a job in advertising. He later credited the discipline of copy writing for developing the brevity and precision of his work which included thirty plays. His work often showed the conflict between idealism and realism, definitely a factor in Becket, which I've seen and enjoyed in the film version (1964, with Peter O'Toole as King Henry and Richard Burton as Becket).

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