Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates

Otherwise Engaged: The Life of Alan Bates by Donald Spoto
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Date Released
Out Of Print

Other Titles by Donald Spoto

The first in-depth, authorised biography of this extraordinary actor.

In 1956, at the age of 22, Alan Bates was cast in John Osborne's controversial play, Look Back in Anger. The play changed the course of British theatre -- and of Alan's life.

With a sudden rush of fame, he became a member of a new circle of actors at the Royal Court: the English Stage Company. He also worked steadily in major films, from A Kind of Loving and Zorba the Greek to Women in Love -- and he won international acclaim for his performance as Guy Burgess in the television adaptation of An Englishman Abroad. During his career, he appeared in more than 80 plays, 45 films and 32 television dramas, including major works by Simon Gray, Harold Pinter and Alan Bennett, and Spoto chronicles his achievements as a performer against the backdrop of a complicated personal life.

Alan's friends, family and fellow actors provide rich, poignant and often astonishing anecdotes. His twenty-year marriage to the clever but disturbed Victoria Ward, an unconventional union which resulted in shared child-rearing but separate homes and lives, provides a contrast to his hitherto hidden, sometimes passionate and often tortured liaisons with other women and with men. Despite this, he and Victoria never divorced, and family was very important to Bates. In 1990 tragedy struck when, at 19, his son Tristan died under mysterious circumstances> not long after, Victoria died, leaving Tristan's twin Benedick, and Alan suddenly alone.

Drawing on dozens of interviews with Alan Bates's family, his lovers, colleagues and friends, and with people who knew and worked with him -- and mining a rich store of primary research -- this exclusively authorised biography paints a portrait of a complex and remarkable personality.
Publication Date:
01 / 08 / 2007

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