Leonard Cyril Deighton (born February 18, 1929, Marylebone, London) is a British historian, cookery expert and novelist, perhaps most famous for his spy novel "The IPCRESS File", which was made into a famous film starring Michael Caine.
Deighton was born in Marylebone, London, in 1929. His father was a chauffeur and mechanic, and his mother was a cook. At the time they lived in a mews near Baker Street.
[cite web | last = Scott | first = Robert Dawson | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = Len Deighton: The spy and I | work = | publisher = The Independent | date = Wednesday, 4 January 2006 | url = http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/len-deighton-the-spy-and-i-521520.html | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-06-19] ]
Deighton's interest in spy stories may have been partially inspired by the arrest of Anna Wolkoff, which he witnessed as an 11-year-old boy. Wolkoff was a British citizen of Russian descent who was a Nazi spy. She was detained on May 20, 1940, and charged with violating the Official Secrets Act for attempting to pass secret documents to the Nazis.
After leaving school, Deighton worked as a railway clerk before performing his National Service, which he spent as a photograper for the Royal Air Force's Special Investigation Branch. After discharge from the RAF, he studied at St Martin's School of Art in London in 1949, and in 1952 won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1955.
[cite web | last = Scott | first = Robert Dawson | authorlink = | coauthors = | title = A class act, not a class warrior | work = | publisher = The Times | date = January 7, 2006 | url = http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article785371.ece | format = | doi = | accessdate = 2008-06-19] While he was at the RCA he became a "lifelong friend" [cite web ]
accessdate=2007-12-06 ] of fellow designer Raymond Hawkey, who later designed covers for his early books. Deighton then worked as an airline steward with BOAC. Before he began his writing career he worked as an illustrator in New York and, in 1960, as an art director in a London advertising agency. He is credited with creating the first British cover for Kerouac's "On the Road".
[ He has since used his drawing skills to illustrate a number of his own military history books.]
Following the success of his first novels, Deighton became The Observer's cookery writer and produced illustrated cookbooks. He also wrote travel guides and became travel editor of "Playboy", before becoming a film producer. After producing a film adaption of his 1968 novel "Only When I Larf", Deighton and photographer Brian Duffy bought the film rights to Joan Littlewood's "Oh! What a Lovely War". However, he had his name removed from the credits of the film as producer, a move which he later described as "stupid and infantile". This was his last involvement with films.
Deighton left Britain in 1969 and has not since returned, apart from some personal visits and a very few media appearances, his last one since 1985 being a 2006 interview which formed part of a "Len Deighton Night" on BBC Four. He now resides in southern California.
Several of his novels have been adapted as films. His first four novels featured an anonymous anti-hero, named "Harry Palmer" in the films, and portrayed by Michael Caine. The first trilogy of his "Bernard Samson" novel series was made into a 12-part television series by Granada Television in 1988, shown only once, and withdrawn on instructions from Mr Deighton.Fact|date=November 2007 He wrote the screenplay and was an uncredited producer [cite web
title=Oh! What a lovely war (1969) - Full cast and crew
accessdate=2006-12-08 ] for the 1969 film of the play "Oh! What a Lovely War". His 1970 World War II historical novel "Bomber" about an RAF Bomber Command raid over Germany often is considered his masterpiece.
He reportedly began an unfinished Vietnam novel, a portion of which appeared as the story "First Base" in his short story collection Declarations of War.
Deighton also published a series of cookery books and wrote and drew a weekly strip cartoon-style illustrated cooking guide in London's "The Observer" newspaper – "Len Deighton's Cookstrip". At least one of the strips is pinned up in Deighton's spy hero's kitchen in the 1965 film of his novel "The IPCRESS File". [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059319/trivia]
To exploit the success of Deighton's first four "Unnamed Hero" novels, he wrote "Len Deighton's London Dossier" (1967), a guide book to Swinging Sixties London with a "secret agent" theme — contributions from other writers are described as "surveillance reports".
Deighton's 1977 "The Battle of Britain" was said by Albert Speer (once Hitler's Minister of Armaments) to be "an excellent, most thorough examination. I read page after page with fascination". The piece was furnished with a comment by A.J.P. Taylor simply saying: "Brilliant analysis...".
* [http://www.deightondossier.net/ The Deighton Dossier - new comprehensive, unofficial fan-site]
* [http://www-staff.mcs.uts.edu.au/~tomlin/LD/ Unofficial Len Deighton website]
* [http://www.algonet.se/~kallman/books/deighton.htm More information on LD]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,923-1971829,00.html 2006 interview #1]
* [http://arts.independent.co.uk/books/features/article336345.ece 2006 interview #2]
* [http://www.liontv.co.uk/_scotland/productions/documentaries/truth_len.html "The Truth About Len Deighton" documentary]
* [http://www.art.co.uk/asp/sp-asp/_/pd--12329991/sp--A/On_The_Road_by_Jack_Kerouac.htm Cover of "On The Road" illustrated by Len Deighton]
Источник: Len Deighton