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Jonathan Lynn

Jonathan Lynn

Jonathan Lynn is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. His prolific career spans nearly four decades and includes directing, writing, producing and acting in motion pictures, television and theatre as well as authoring best-selling books. Most recently, Lynn directed the screwball crime movie The Whole Nine Yards, which was number one at the US box office for three weeks.

In 1985, Lynn wrote and directed his first feature film, Clue, a comedy/mystery based on the popular board game. He then directed his own screenplay, Nuns on the Run, which starred Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane, and the acerbic comedy My Cousin Vinny, which launched Marisa Tomei's career and as Best Supporting Actress. Lynn's satire "Theearned her an Academy Award Distinguished Gentleman," starring Eddie Murphy, was released in 1992 and raised the issue of campaign finance reform long before it was a publicly recognized problem. He followed with Greedy, starring Michael J. Fox and Kirk Douglas, Sgt. Bilko, starring Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd and Trial and Error, starring Michael Richards and Charlize Theron.

Lynn was initially propelled to fame in his native Great Britain in the 1980s when he co-created and co-wrote the BBC phenomena Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister, which lampooned his native country's political system. They are listed among the top ten series of all-time by the British Film Institute. Lynn earned the British Academy Writers' Award for his efforts and the series garnered numerous BAFTA, Broadcasting Guild and Pye Television Writer's Awards as well as an ACE Award in the United States and a Special Award from the Campaign for Freedom of Information. He carried the series' theme into three novels, which cumulatively sold more than a million copies in hardback and were on the London Sunday Times top-ten bestseller list for three years. They are still in print in paperback, twenty years later, and have been translated into several languages. Yes, Prime Minister will be released in its entirety on DVD in August by BBC Video.

Lynn directed numerous plays in London in the 1970s and 1980s. They include: The Glass Menagerie (1977), working with Tennessee Williams; Songbook (1979), (Society of West End Theatres Award and the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical); Anna Christie (1979-80), at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and London; Pass the Butler (1982) by Eric Idle; and Joe Orton's Loot (1984). His production of Macbeth, featuring Brian Cox, toured the United Kingdom and India and staged a special performance for then Prime Minister Ghandi. Lynn went on to direct one of the companies of the National Theatre of Great Britain, which performed his production of A Little Hotel on the Side (Georges Feydeau, translated by John Mortimer, and Three Men on a Horse (Best Comedy, Society of West End Theatre Awards 1987). His own play Collaborators is set for production in London's West End in 2004. Currently, Lynn is developing the feature films American Health, The Pre-Nup and a film based on his 1993 novel Mayday. For more information about past, current and future projects, please visit www.jonathanlynn.com.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2003.

Jonathan Lynn Facts

OccupationDirector, Screenwriter
BirthdayApril 3, 1943 (80)
BirthplaceBath, Somerset, England, United Kingdom

Selected Filmography

My Cousin Vinny
The Whole Nine Yards
Family Favorites: 10-Movie Collection
Wild Target
Sgt. Bilko
The Fighting Temptations
The Distinguished Gentleman
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