Happy Birthday: Tom Stoppard

tomstoppardHappy Birthday actor Tom Stoppard

Born: July 3, 1937 in Zlín, Czechoslovakia [now in Czech Republic]

Married to: Sabrina Guinness (2014 – present)
Miriam Stoppard (1972 – 1992) (divorced) (2 children)
Jose Ingle (1962 – 1972) (divorced) (2 children)

He worked as script doctor and re-write uncredited on: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Sleepy Hollow (1999), K-19: The Widowmaker (2002), and others.

OSCAR Winner for Best Screenplay (Shakespeare in Love)


[In 1968] I was asked to sign a protest against “censorship” after a newspaper declined to publish somebody’s manifesto. “But that isn’t censorship,” I said. “That’s editing. In Russia you go to prison for possessing a copy of Animal Farm. That’s censorship.”

[In 1968] A few miles away across the Channel, clashes between protesters and riot police were affairs of burning cars, overturned buses and buildings turned to rubble. Our own street-fighting man was only rock ‘n’ roll.

[In 1968] It wasn’t all posh, of course. The “scene”, as we called it, was more populously located in a shifting underground of art events – exhibitions, gigs, happenings, poetry readings – in dark places around Covent Garden and elsewhere and here the word “revolution” takes on some substance, I think. It was not a social revolution, but there was a sense of a cultural revolution pivoted on that moment. Unfortunately, I was embarrassed by that, too. I loved the music and the dressing up but I couldn’t take to the dialogue: a reductive argot of comrade-jargon and bogus wisdom derived from misunderstood eastern religions.

If I had known in 1968 what we were going to squander, long before we had the excuse of 9/11, I might have joined in the fun with less embarrassment, with less to lose. But at the time all the goings-on seemed frivolous compared with the freedoms we had invented – or should I say the freedoms you invented?

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