Born in Sale and educated in Manchester, Robert Bolt initially made his name in the theatre, particularly with his 1960 play about Sir Thomas More, A Man for All Seasons. Following the international success of that work, the 1960s would see Bolt forge an important creative partnership with David Lean, providing the screenplays for some of the director’s most memorable and epic works including Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and Dr Zhivago (David Lean, 1965).
Having established himself as a screenwriter of note, in the mid-1960s he would successfully adapt A Man for All Seasons for the cinema. Later, following a stroke, his script for a planned film with Lean about the mutiny on The Bounty was abandoned by the director who felt he could not continue without the writer. The project would be finally realised in 1984 by director Roger Donaldson as The Bounty. Bolt would continue to work on scripts for large scale productions, achieving acclaim and a Golden Globe for his contribution to the screenplay for The Mission (1986).