Highly respected for his work in Hollywood, Sir Ronald Hardwood also wrote many other notable pieces such as, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Dresser, and Quartet. Hardwood won an Oscar with his spectacular screenwriting for The Pianist.
Unfortunately, on Tuesday his agent informed BBC that the celebrated writer had passed away due to age and natural reasons.
Sir Ronald Harwood: Playwright and Oscar-winning screenwriter dies aged 85 https://t.co/71yLCF9mRE
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 9, 2020
Hardwood was born in South Africa in 1934 and traveled to the U.K to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.While Hardwood made a name for himself in Hollywood, he was, however, famous in his native land Britain for writing several novels and regarded as a successful dramatist.
In an interview to the Guardian Harwood stated, “Films I do for the money, It is very good money, no question about it. And we are overpaid – of course, we are overpaid – but still, I don’t complain. But writing for the theatre is the thing I’ve loved doing most because it’s about language; relationships and language.”
Hardwood is best known for his stage play, The Dresser, which portrays the story of an aging actor and the relationship with his dresser. The play is outlined on Harwood’s own experiences when he worked as a Dresser for the actor Sir Donald Wolfit. When the play was adapted for the screen it turned out to be a massive hit and gained positive critical remarks. It was nominated for 5 Oscar categories but did not win any.
In an interview with the Guardian Harwood explained, “I have no idea what its lasting appeal is, I really don’t. It was my first big success, of course, and I do love it and am very proud of it, but I am puzzled by its popularity. I am still proud of the relationships and feeling within the play, it is a play about emotion; it’s not a play about the brain, it’s about the heart and that’s what I like.”
Harwood received many international acknowledgments and awards throughout his life. He was awarded an O.B.E. in 1999 and a knighthood in 2010 for services to drama from the U.K. He was also made a chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1996 by the French government along with countless honorary doctorates.