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Straight Face

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9780340769430

Price: £7.99

ON SALE: 14th April 2003

Genre: Biography & True Stories / Memoirs

Very sadly, Nigel Hawthorne died on Boxing Day 2001. He had just completed his exceptional autobiography about a life which had by no means taken a straight path. His ambitions to be an actor when a young man in South Africa were strongly discouraged by his father. He came to England alone and struggled for many years to make his name – eventually joining the Royal Court, starring in the West End, and finally having his great TV break in Yes, Minister.

He also struggled with his sexuality and it was not until meeting production manager Trevor Bentham in l977 that he finally found his life partner. A naturally private man, his media ‘outing’ in the run-up to the Oscar Ceremony for The Madness of King George was the source of much pain, although ultimately it became a liberation.

At the peak of his career he was struck by cancer and his battle with illness forms a moving final section of the book.


Quite apart from the fact that this is already clearly the theatre book of the year, it is also in my view one of the best autobiographical accounts of an actor I have ever read.
Sheridan Morley
The book is deeply honest without being sensational. There are some very funny sections and some very moving ones...A most unusual account of a most unusual actor.
Simon Callow, Mail on Sunday
a most compelling, intimate and moving portrait
Sunday Telegraph
A wonderful book, 'artless' in the best sense, and written with such simplicity, directness and good humour.
John Banville, Daily Mail
Beautifully written
Humphrey Carpenter, The Sunday Times
Moving and understated life of one of our favourite theatrical knights.
Daily Mail
A valuable record of his life and times...a very honest and engaging book from a modest man who became all he wanted to be
Glasgow Herald
Moving and funny... characterised by honesty and sincerity... Not to be missed
Sunday Times