Peter Shaffer

Playwright Peter Shaffer

Profession: Playwright


Biography: Shaffer's father, a physician, encouraged him to pursue a career in medicine, but he instead decided to study English at Cambridge University. After graduation, he worked as a journalist and theater critic before beginning to write plays.

His first success came with the play Five Finger Exercise (1958), which was later adapted into a film (1962).

Shaffer's best-known play is Equus (1973), which tells the story of a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a young man who has blinded six horses. The play was a success both in the West End and on Broadway, and was later made into a film (1977).

Other notable works by Shaffer include Amadeus (1979), which tells the story of the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri, and The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1964), which chronicles the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire.

Born: May 15, 1926
Birthplace: Liverpool, England, United Kingdom

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Tiger
Star Sign: Taurus

Died: June 6, 2016 (aged 90)

Historical Events

  • 1958-07-17 Peter Shaffer's musical "Five Finger Exercise" premieres in London
  • 1964-02-08 Peter Shaffer's musical "Royal Hunt of the Sun" premieres in London
  • 1973-07-26 Peter Shaffer's musical "Equus" premieres in London
  • 1979-11-02 Peter Shaffer's musical "Amadeus" premieres in London
  • 1984-09-06 "Amadeus" from the play by Peter Shaffer, directed by Milos Forman and starring Tom Hulce premieres in Los Angeles (Academy Awards Best Picture 1985)
  • 1987-10-27 Peter Shaffer's musical "Lettice & Lovage" premieres in London
  • 1993-09-01 Revival of Peter Shaffer's farce double-bill "White Liars/Black Comedy" opens at Criterion Theater, NYC; runs for 38 performances
  • 1993-10-03 Peter Shaffer's stage comedy twin-bill "White Liars/Black Comedy" closes at the Criterion Theater, NYC, after 38 performances

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