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Bruce Robinson
Born 2 May 1946 (1946-05-02) (age 63)
Broadstairs, Kent, England
Occupation Actor, screenwriter, director
Years active 1968 - present
Spouse(s) Sophie Windham (1984 - )

Bruce Robinson (born 2 May 1946(1946-05-02)) is an English director, screenwriter, novelist and actor. He is arguably most famous for his work on the cult classic Withnail and I, a film with comic and tragic elements, set in London during the 1960s.

As an actor, he has worked with the likes of Franco Zeffirelli (on whom he based the character of Uncle Monty in Withnail and I), Ken Russell and François Truffaut. In 1998, he returned to acting with a cameo in the 70s rock rival film Still Crazy.

Robinson currently lives in Herefordshire with his wife, Sophie Windham, and their two children, Lily (b. 1986) and Willoughby (b. 1994).



Bruce Robinson was born in Broadstairs in Kent. In his youth, Robinson dreamed of being an actor and was admitted to the Central School of Speech and Drama in London. His first film role was as Benvolio in Franco Zeffirelli's film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet (1968). He eventually became disenchanted with acting after spending several years out of work and living on social security payments and began writing screenplays. He was soon commissioned by David Puttnam to write the screenplay for The Killing Fields (1984). Robinson was nominated for an Academy Award and won a BAFTA for his work.

However, he is perhaps best known as the creative force behind the film Withnail and I (1987). Loosely autobiographical, he based the film on his time as a struggling out-of-work actor [1]. For instance, the character 'Withnail' is reportedly based on his friend, Vivian MacKerrell, whilst the character 'I' (Marwood), on himself. Though unsuccessful at the box office, due to its success on video it has since been described as "one of Britain's biggest cult films" [2]. The film also launched the acting career of Richard E. Grant.

Robinson's next two outings as a director (How to Get Ahead in Advertising, reteaming him with Richard E. Grant and Jennifer Eight, a Hollywood thriller) were not as well received [3]. As several other scripts of his were mauled beyond recognition, Robinson become disillusioned with the restrictive film-making of Hollywood and turned his back on directing, though he continued to write [4].

However, it has recently been announced that Robinson will return to directing, with an adaptation Hunter S. Thompson's novel The Rum Diary (2008), with the main role being played by Johnny Depp[5]. With Aaron Eckhart and Richard Jenkins also on board, filming started on March 30th in Puerto Rico [6]. It is set for release in 2010.



Directing Credits

Screen Writing Credits

Acting Credits


Robinson is also a successful author. His first published work was the semi-autobiographical novel, The Peculiar Memories Of Thomas Penman in 1998. In 2000, Smoking In Bed: Conversations With Bruce Robinson, edited by Alistair Owen, was published, made up of a selection of interviews given by Robinson. Meanwhile, since becoming a father, Robinson has also written two children's books, The Obvious Elephant (2000) and Harold and The Duck (2005), both illustrated by his wife. The former is also available as an audiobook edition (2003), read by Lorelei King and Michael Maloney.

  • Withnail and I (1987, Currently Unpublished)
  • Paranoia in the Launderette (1998)
  • The Peculiar Memories of Thomas Penman (1998)
  • The Obvious Elephant (2000)
  • Harold and The Duck (2005)


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Bruce Robinson (born 1946-05-02) is an English film director and screenwriter.


  • For years you'd sit there waiting for the telephone to ring, and then when they'd cut off the telephone, you'd have to tramp out to the call box over the road. "I've already put two shilling pieces in." That used to go on all the time, phoning the agent. "When's he coming back from lunch? Well, would you tell him I called? Bruce Robinson. No, Bruce. B-R-U-C-E." I used to get that. I was at some crummy party somewhere, and here's my agent talking, and he says, "So, what do you do?" I said, "You're my agent!" I'll never forget him saying that.
  • So we got Richard drunk, hauled him in the next morning to read through the scene, and he spewed up through the French windows. He's often told that story, but he never bothers with the rest of it, the part where I have to clear the stuff up, which was awful.
  • When you read a really good piece of prose you think, "You bastard. How can you write like that?" I know bloody well that the bloke has suffered to get it like that. Same thing when you go to a specialist. "Oh, he was marvellous. But do you know, he charged me 150 quid for twenty minutes." Well, you’re not paying £150 for twenty minutes, you’re paying for forty years of learning how to do the twenty minutes. I think it’s exactly the same with writing. When you pay for a paperback, you’re paying for years of learning how to do it. When I work, I work incredibly hard.
    • On writing

External links

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