|Born||31 January 1904|
|Died||27 January 1981|
|Years active||1928 - 1965|
Roger d'Este Burford (1904–1981) was an English poet, novelist and screenwriter. He also wrote crime fiction as Roger East.
He was the son of Samuel Francis Burford (b. 1857, Desborough - d. 1935 Watford) an analytical chemist, and Clara d'Este Burford (née d'Este Emery, b. 1865, Market Harborough - d. 1935, Leicester). He had an elder brother, Francis Emery Buford (1898-1918), who was killed in action whilst a 2nd Lt. in the 1st. Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, and sister Marjorie Clara Burford (b. 1899).
Burford attended Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, going up in autumn 1922, and taking the English Tripos. In Easter Term 1923 he was a founder member of the Cambridge University Kinema Club (CUKC). During the 1923 vacation the club visited Gaumont Studios in Shepherd's Bush, London, and in the Michaelmas Term of that year it went to Famous Players-Lasky Studio in Islington, London, where George Pearson was shooting Reveille . Pearson later gave a talk to the CUKC in Lent Term, 1924.Pearson's comedies would be a particular enthusiasm of Burford's in his early writing on film. In Michaelmas term 1923 Burford became friends with fellow CUKC member Christopher Isherwood. He is fictionalised as "Roger East" in Isherwood's novel Lions and Shadows. After graduating, Burford registered for two terms at Leicester School of Art, having some talent as a painter. In the spring of 1926 he briefly taught Greek at Wooton Court Preparatory School. He then moved to London, sharing rooms in a boarding house on Redcliffe Road, Chelsea, with the painter Stella Wilkinson (1903-1944), whom he had met at Leicester School of Art. Stella appears as "Polly" in Lions and Shadows. The couple left London for a trip to Milan in September 1926, letting Isherwood take over their rooms. On 28 April 1927 Burford married Stella in a London registry office, with Isherwood one of the two witnesses. The two men corresponded throughout the 1930s and Burford's letters are preserved in Isherwood's papers in the Huntington Library.
Stella died in 1944, whilst the couple were living near Wincanton, Somerset. In 1949 he married Stella Jonckheere (b. , Roubaix) who was the literary editor at Ealing Studios, and later at Group 3.
He published the well-received "realist" novel Kay Walters, A Woman of the People in 1928. He remained active in British literary circles, publishing his poetry regularly in "little magazines" such as Seed and Booster and becoming a member of the editorial board of the poetry magazine Delta in April 1938. A collection of his verse was published in 1947.
In the late 1920s he also began a career as a writer of screen scenarios and scripts in the British film industry, being first of all employed as a scenario reader for Walter Mycroft at BIP in 1928. He would then become a scenario editor at British Instructional, before returning to BIP as a writer in 1932.He expanded into television in the 1950s, writing the BBC drama Three Steps in the Dark (1953). His abilities as both a crime novelist and screenwriter led to him specialising in TV crime drama for much of the 1960s. He was the principal scriptwriter for the BBC series Maigret (1960–64) and also wrote for the one-off series The Hidden Truth and The Sentimental Agent. He also wrote a single episode for the BBC series Dr. Finlay's Casebook in 1965.
Burford was a diplomat in Moscow during World War II.
As Roger d'Este Burford
Kay Walters, A Woman of the People (London: Jonathan Cape, 1928)
As Roger Burford
Poems and Documents (Reading: White & White 1937)
Appointment with Seven (London: Fortune Press, 1947)(contribution)
Moscow Blues. A Romance (London: Constable, 1974)
As Roger East
The Mystery of the Monkey Gland Cocktail (New York: Putnam, 1932)
Murder Rehearsal (London: Collins, 1933)
A Candidate for Lilies (London: Collins, 1934)
The Bell is Answered (London: Collins, 1934)
Twenty Five Sanitary Inspectors (London: Collins, 1935)
Detectives in Gum Boots (London: Collins, 1936)
Meet Mr. Malcolm
The Pearl Choker (London: Collins, 1954)
Kingston Black (London: Collins, 1960)
The Pin Men (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1963)
As "Simon" in collaboration with Oswell Blakeston
Death on the Swim
Murder Among Friends (1933)
The Cat with the Moustache (1935)
Meet Mr. Malcolm (Dan Birt, 1954)
Christopher Isherwood was an Anglo-American novelist, playwright, screenwriter, autobiographer, and diarist. His best-known works include Goodbye to Berlin (1939), a semi-autobiographical novel which inspired the musical Cabaret, A Single Man (1964) adapted as a film by Tom Ford in 2009, and Christopher and His Kind (1976), a memoir which "carried him into the heart of the Gay Liberation movement".
Roger Livesey was a Welsh stage and film actor. He is most often remembered for the three Powell & Pressburger films in which he starred: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, I Know Where I'm Going! and A Matter of Life and Death. Tall and broad with a mop of dark blond hair, Livesey used his highly distinctive husky voice, gentle manner and athletic physique to create many notable roles in his theatre and film work.
Oswell Blakeston was the pseudonym of Henry Joseph Hasslacher (1907–1985), a British writer and artist who also worked in the film industry, made some experimental films, and wrote extensively on film theory. He was also a poet and wrote in non-fiction areas including travel, cooking and pets. His pseudonym combined a reference to the writer Osbert Sitwell with his mother's maiden name.
Cecil Parker was an English character and comedy actor with a distinctively husky voice, who usually played supporting roles, often characters with a supercilious demeanour, in his 91 films made between 1928 and 1969.
Sidney Gilliat was an English film director, producer and writer.
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Francis Sydney Smythe, better known as Frank Smythe or F. S. Smythe, was an English mountaineer, author, photographer and botanist. He is best remembered for his mountaineering in the Alps as well as in the Himalayas, where he identified a region that he named the "Valley of Flowers", now a protected park. His ascents include two new routes on the Brenva Face of Mont Blanc, Kamet, and attempts on Kangchenjunga and Mount Everest in the 1930s. It was said that he had a tendency for irascibility, something some of his mountaineering contemporaries said "decreased with altitude".
Ian Hunter was a South African actor.
Herbert Halliwell Hobbes was an English actor.
Garry Marsh was an English stage and film actor.
Walter Charles Mycroft was a British novelist, screenwriter, film producer and director. In the 1920s he was film critic of the London Evening Standard, and a founder of the London Film Society, before joining the film industry.
James Wilson was a British cinematographer.
Squibs' Honeymoon is a 1923 British silent comedy film directed by George Pearson and starring Betty Balfour, Hugh E. Wright and Fred Groves. It was the last of the silent film series featuring the character, although Balfour returned to play her in the 1935 sound film Squibs. Both Pearson and Balfour were particular favourites of the British film critic, and later leading screenwriter, Roger Burford. In his first article for the magazine Close Up Burford would write "Not long ago a film of the Squibbs series was reported to be on at a small cinema in a slum district. It was a rare chance, and we went at once. We were not disappointed: the film was English, with proper tang; the tang of Fielding or Sterne.' Burford's comments help place the Squibbs films perfectly in British culture between the wars. They were very much working-class comedy, drawing on a vernacular, performative tradition, but at the same time their "Englishness" is characteristic of the kinds of satirical comedies found in the novels of Henry Fielding and Laurence Sterne. That earthy satire, based on everyday life, made these comedies unpalatable to middle class audiences but the Squibbs films were amongst the most interesting, and well shot, films in Britain in the 1920s.
Al Martin was an American screenwriter and TV writer known for his work on B-movies across a wide range of genres.