Born in Manchester, England, where he attended the university, Robert Bolt was teaching school in 1957 when his play Flowering Cherry, with Ralph Richardson in the title role, was staged in London. The success of the play persuaded Bolt to devote himself to the theater. The Tiger and the Horse (1960) which, like its predecessor, concerns the paradoxes of idealism and detachment, appeared three years later. In the meanwhile, Bolt had written for BBC radio the short play about Sir Thomas More, which he was to expand into his international triumph, A Man for All Seasons (1960). The play brought Bolt the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in 1962, and, for the screenplay, an Academy Award. Bolt wrote a series of screenplays for David Lean including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and Ryan's Daughter (1970), in which personal melodrama is again played out against romanticized history. The stage work Vivat! Vivat Regina! (1970) confronts Queen Elizabeth's rigidity with the femininity of Mary of Scotland. State of Revolution (1977), written for the National Theatre, is a portrait of Lenin as a sensitive leader imprisoned in his ideals. Some of his other works include The Bounty, The Mission, A Man For All Seasons, and Without Warning: The James Brady Story. He died at age 70, in Petersfield, Hampshire, England, following a long illness.