Richard Curtis CBE (born 8.11.1956)
Richard Curtis is an award winning British TV and film writer. He is best known for directing Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. He is also known for founding the British charity Comic Relief.
Richard Curtis: Childhood
Richard Curtis was bon in Wellington, New Zealand, to Glyness and Anthony Curtis. His father was a Unilever executive. The family lived in various different countries whilst Richard was growing up and some of his family still reside in Australia.
Richard has lived in England since he was 11 years old and he started school at Papplewick School in Ascot. He then won a scholarship to Harrow, where he became head of school. He later earned himself a first-class degree from Oxford University, in English Language and Literature. It was here that Richard Curtis befriended and started working with Rowan Atkinson.
Richard Curtis: Film & TV Career
In 1980, Richard Curtis co-wrote a Bee Gees parody entitled 'Meaningless Songs (In Very High Voices)'. Following on from this, he became a regular writer on Not The Nine O'Clock News, the comedy sketch show that featured Rowan Atkinson, Mel Smith, Pamela Stephenson and Gryff Rhys Jones.
Curtis then started to work on Blackadder and continued to work on the series between 1983 and 1989. Richard worked once more with his old friend Rowan Atkinson, as well as Tony Robinson. Curtis and Atkinson went on to work together once more on Mr. Bean, between 1990 and 1995.
In 1994, Richard Curtis co-wrote The Vicar Of Dibley, a sitcom that starred Dawn French and also featured Liz Smith. The show was hugely successful and ran for 18 episodes and three 'specials'.
Richard Curtis started writing films in the late 1980s. His first major success came in 1989 with The Tall Guy. The film starred Jeff Goldblum, Emma Thompson and Rowan Atkinson. This was followed by Bernard and the Genie in 1991. Once again, Atkinson was a feature of the film, as was Lenny Henry.
In 1994, Richard Curtis achieved his biggest success to date with the release of Four Weddings and a Funeral. The film starred Andie MacDowell and Hugh Grant and was produced by Working Title Films. Other members of the cast include John Hannah and Kristin Scott Thomas. Curtis' next project for Working Title was Notting Hill, which was directed for Roger Michell starred Hugh Grant again - this time with Julia Roberts as the female lead. It beat Four weddings and a Funeral's record and became the highest grossing film of all time.
Richard Curtis was also involved in the adaptation of Bridget Jones' Diary. Curtis was already friends with the book's writer, Helen Fielding, before he began work on the screenplay. The film was a huge success and starred Renee Zellweger as the title character.
Curtis teamed up with Working Title once more to work on Love Actually. Once again, Hugh Grant played the lead male role and was joined by Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth and Keira Knightley.
Richard Curtis received a Fellowship award at 2007's BAFTA in recognition of his work in film and in the charity sector. Later that year, he co-wrote an adaptation of Alexander McCall Smith's the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency with Anthony Minghella. Minghella died a few days before it was premiered on the BBC in March 2008.
Curtis then wrote and directed The Boat That Rocked. The film was set in the 1960s and documents the exploits of a pirate radio station located on a boat in the North Sea. The all-star cast includes the likes of Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Nick Frost, Kenneth Branagh and Gemma Arterton.
Richard Curtis: Charity Work
Richard Curtis helped to found both Make Poverty History and Comic Relief. He helped to organise the Live 8 concerts with Bob Geldof.
Richard Curtis: Personal Life
Curtis lives with the script editor and broadcaster Emma Freud, in Notting Hill. They have three children together.