Born Ronald (Ronnie) Horwitz 9 November 1934 in Cape Town, the son of Isobel Horwitz (née Pepper) and Isaac Horwitz. The Cape Town dance critic Eve Borland is his sister and Antony Sher is his cousin. He attended the Seapoint Boys’ High School. In 1951 he went on a theatre tour to England with Leonard Schach and then moved to England to enter the theatrical profession. In 1959, he married Natasha Riehle (1938-2013), a descendant of Russian nobility. They had three children: Antony (born 1960), Deborah (born 1963), and Alexandra (born 1966).
Training and years in theatre
In England he studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, then joined the Shakespeare Company of Sir Donald Wolfit (whose biography he wrote), for six years as Wolfit's personal dresser (1953-8).
After one season as an actor for the 59 Theatre Company for a season, he began at the Lyric Hammersmith. He began his writing career in 1960, publishing his first novel, All the Same Shadows in 1961, the screenplay, Private Potter in 1962, and the stage play, March Hares in 1964.
He ultimately wrote 21 stage plays, 10 books and adapted more than 16 screen plays.
He adapted Paton's novel Cry, the Beloved Country for the screen.
All the World's a Stage, a theatre history, was published by Secker & Warburg in 1984.
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