Sir Ronald Harwood dies at 85

Tributes paid to Oscar winner

by Amber Wilkinson

Ronald Harwood's Adaptations
Ronald Harwood's Adaptations
Oscar-winning screenwriter and playwright Sir Ronald Harwood has died, of natural causes, at the age of 85.

Tributes were paid last night to Harwood, who won an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for Roman Polanski's The Pianist in 2003. He had previously received two other Oscar nominations in the same category - for The Dresser in 1983 and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly in 2007, for which he won a BAFTA. His filmography also included screenplays for Being Julia, Cry, The Beloved Country and Love In The Time Of Cholera . In addition to his screenplays and stage work, including Taking Tea With Stalin, he also wrote the book Adaptations, about the art of writing for cinema.

Among those paying tribute on Twitter was documentarian David Nicholas Wilkinson, who distributed Harwood's film adaptation of his play Taking Sides.

He wrote on Twitter: "When Ronald Harwood won the Oscar for The Pianist he was offered a lot of money to polish screenplays by A-List actors, directors. They needed his name to help make their projects more attractive. He told me he turned them all down, 'I'm 69 money is not everything'. RIP Sir Ron."

Giles Brandreth also wrote: "Ronald Harwood was a great man: full of heart, humanity, wit and high intelligence."

Harwood - who Nicholson said "loved the Sir" - was knighted in 2010.

His wife Natasha died in 2013 an he is survived by their children Antony, Deborah and Alexandra.

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