The Lion in Winter

The Lion in Winter (1966)

Play: The Lion in Winter (Ambassador Theatre, NY)
Published/Performed: Mar 3, 1966 - May 21, 1966

Author: James Goldman
Born: Jun 30, 1927 Chicago, IL
Passed: Oct 28, 1998 New York City, NY

Film: The Lion in Winter
Released: 1968

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About the Play The Lion in Winter:

James Goldman (June 30, 1927 ? October 28, 1998) was an American screenwriter and playwright, and the brother of screenwriter and novelist William Goldman.

The Lion in Winter is a 1966 Broadway play by James Goldman.

The Lion in Winter was set during Christmas 1183 at Henry II of England's ch?teau in Chinon, Anjou, Angevin Empire, the play opens with the arrival of Henry's wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he has had imprisoned since 1173. The story concerns the gamesmanship between Henry, Eleanor, their three surviving sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John, their guest, Philip II of France (the son of Eleanor's ex-husband, Louis VII of France), and Philip's half-sister, Alais, who has been at court since she was betrothed to Richard at age 8, but has since become Henry's mistress.

The Lion in Winter is fictional: there was not a Christmas Court at Chinon in 1183; it is implied that Henry imprisoned Eleanor for attempting to overthrow him, but, in fact, she was imprisoned for backing their son Henry in the Revolt of 1173?1174. Also there is no definitive evidence that Alais was Henry's mistress (although Richard later resisted marrying Alais on the basis of this claim). The real Henry had many mistresses (and several illegitimate children); none of the dialogue and actions are historical, although the outcomes and the events leading up to the story are accurate.

The play premiered at the Ambassador Theatre on 3 March 1966. Directed by Noel Willman, it starred Robert Preston as Henry, Rosemary Harris as Eleanor, James Rado as Richard, and Christopher Walken as Philip. Harris won a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.

The film, Lion in Winter was based on the Broadway play by Goldman. It was directed by Anthony Harvey and produced by Joseph E. Levine from Goldman's adaptation of his own play, The Lion in Winter. The movie starred Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, John Castle, Anthony Hopkins (in his film debut), Jane Merrow, and, in early appearances, Timothy Dalton and Nigel Terry. The critically acclaimed film was a commercial success and won three Academy Awards, including one for Hepburn as Best Actress (tied with Funny Girl's Barbra Streisand). There was a remake in 2003.

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Featured Cast (Names and Roles) of the Film The Lion in Winter: