The first biography ever of legendary British actor Paul Scofield, Gary O'Connor's "Paul Scofield: An Actor for All Seasons," will be on shelves Jan. 21, Scofield's 80th birthday.
Gary O'Connor's new book, in the first person as a kind of arts reporter's investigation of Scofield's world, with the cooperation of the actor, attempts to chart "the progress of an actor's soul." Applause Theatre & Cinema Books is the publisher.
Sussex-born Scofield is a known as one of the great English language actors of the 20th century, performing in comedies, tragedies, farces, dramas, films, TV and the classics. He won the Academy Award for playing Sir Thomas More in "A Man for All Seasons." He has been intensely private over the years, and turned down a knighthood four times to keep out of the public eye (at least the eye beyond the theatre).
O'Connor previously penned books about Ralph Richardson, Sean O'Casey, Peggy Ashcroft and, most recently, William Shakespeare. The new book has perspective from Scofield himself, as well as colleagues, friends and industry professionals.
Scofield's legendary Hamlet productions are discussed, as is his work in Amadeus, King Lear, The Government Inspector, John Gabriel Borkman, Hollywood's "Quiz Show" (for which he was Oscar-nominated), TV's "The Ambassadors" and "Martin Chuzzlewitt," and more. The illustrated hardcover biography (retailing at $26.95) includes an essay by Irene Worth on Scofield's King Lear.
— By Kenneth Jones