- Birth name:
- Date of Birth:
- 3 April 1943 Bath, Somerset, England, UK [now Bath and Nor
Jonathan Lynn and Antony Jay created and wrote every episode of the acclaimed BBC political comedy series Yes, Minister, and Yes, Prime Minister. The series received numerous accolades including three BAFTA (British Academy) Awards, two Broadcasting Press Guild Awards and two Pye Television Writers Awards. It also won four BAFTA Awards for the star, Nigel Hawthorne. Mr Lynn also won the BAFTA (British Academy) Writers Award. In the United States he won the ACE Award for Best Written Comedy Series on cable television, having also been nominated the previous year. In addition, for Yes, Minister Mr. Lynn was given a Special Award from the Campaign For Freedom Of Information. Mr. Lynn wrote three best-selling books, The Complete Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, Volumes 1 and 2 based on the series. All went to number one on the London Sunday Times bestseller list. Between them they have sold over a million copies in hardback, were in the top ten best-sellers for three years, and have been translated into numerous languages. The Complete Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, Volume 2 were the 2nd and 3rd British best-sellers of the decade, 1980-1989.Jonathan Lynn directed the film My Cousin Vinny (1992), a critical and commercial hit in 1992. Marisa Tomei, discovered in this film, won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Lynn's 1990 film Nuns on the Run (1990), which he also wrote, was a hilarious romp through the landscape of the church, starring Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane. It won the Golden Cane Award at the Festival de Comedie in Switzerland. His 1993 film The Distinguished Gentleman (1992), starring Eddie Murphy, was about the corrupting power of the lobbyists in Washington DC and the need for campaign finance reform. Virtually everything in the film has since come true and nine years after the release of the film it won a Special Award from the Political Film Society. It also won the Environmental Media Award. His other films are Clue (1985), Greedy (1994)starring 'Michael J. Fox' and Kirk Douglas, Sgt. Bilko (1996) starring Steve Martin, and Trial and Error (1997) which was favorably compared by Siskel and Ebert to a Billy Wilder movie. His most recent film, The Whole Nine Yards (2000), stars Bruce Willis, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Natasha Henstridge and was number one at the US Box Office for three weeks. He is currently making The Fighting Temptations (2003) for Paramount and MTV.Born in Bath, England, Mr. Lynn has an MA in Law from Cambridge University. He never practiced law, but joined a theatre orchestra in London^Áfs West End. His first credit as a writer was The Internecine Project (1974) starring James Coburn. His first novel A Proper Man was published in 1976, and his second Mayday in 1993 (Viking/Penguin). In the same year he wrote the British television film Life After Life and directed The Distinguished Gentleman.He wrote his first two films, Clue and Nuns On The Run, did an uncredited re-write on My Cousin Vinny and has just completed a screenplay based on his novel Mayday. His new stage play Collaborators is to be produced in London's West End next year, his recent screenplays include Heartless and The Pre-Nup, and he is currently writing another book, Travelling Incognito.Mr. Lynn has also enjoyed notable success on the British stage. In 1987 he directed his own company at the National Theatre of Great Britain, eventually moving his centenary production of George Abbott's Three Men On A Horse to the West End. Once there, it won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy. His 1979 musical Songbook won the Society Of West End Theatres Award and the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. From 1977 to 1981 Lynn served as Artistic Director of The Cambridge Theatre Company, where he produced more than forty plays, directing twenty of them himself including a Macbeth with Brian Cox that toured both the UK and India, playing a special performance for the Prime Minister, Mrs Gandhi.Other notable London productions include Georges Feydeau's A Little Hotel On The Side at the National Theatre, translated by John Mortimer, The Glass Menagerie (working with Tennesee Williams), Shaw's Arms And The Man. Eric Idle's Pass The Butler, Joe Orton's Loot with Leonard Rossiter, and Eugene O'Neill's Anna Christie at the Royal Shakespeare Company, in Stratford and London.An accomplished actor, Mr. Lynn began his career at the age of twenty-one on Broadway, in the revue Cambridge Circus, with John Cleese and Graham Chapman. His TV debut was on The Ed Sullivan Show (1964). Returning to England, he was nominated Most Promising New Actor in the Plays And Players Awards for his first West End performance, in Green Julia (1965). He played leading roles in many British television films including Jack Rosenthal's _Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976) (TV)_ and _Knowledge, The (1981)_, _Outside Edge (1982)_ (TV)_ and starred in the series Doctor In The House and My Brother's Keeper, which he also wrote.His stage performances range from playing Hitler in The Comedy Of The Changing Years at the Royal Court Theatre to Motel The Tailor in the original London cast of Fiddler On The Roof. His film performances include cameos in Into The Night, Three Men And A Little Lady and playing Kirk Douglas' butler in his own film Greedy.Mr. Lynn has an Honorary M.A. from the University of Sheffield and an Honorary Psy.D. from the American Behavioral Studies Institute. He now lives in Los Angeles.