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Children's author Roald Dahl wrote the kids' classics Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, among other famous works. He was married to actress Patricia Neal.
Roald Dahl - The Novels (2:28)
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Johnny Depp - Mini Biography (5:22)
A behind the scenes look at "Matilda the Musical" and how the creative team brought this classic story to life. Video courtesy of AKA NYC.
A look at the many novels of author Roald Dahl from the creative team behind "Matilda the Musical." Video courtesy of AKA NYC.
Watch a short video about Gene Wilder to learn how he recovered after the loss of his wife Gilda Radner.
A short biography of Johnny Depp who started out as a TV heartthrob on "21 Jump Street" and moved onto eccentric, big screen roles in "Edward Scissorhands," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "Pirates of the Caribbean."
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Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916, in Llandaff, South Wales. In 1953, he published the best-selling story collection Someone Like You and married actress Patricia Neil. He published the popular book James and the Giant Peach in 1961. In 1964, he released another highly successfuly work, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which was later adapted for two films. Over his decades-long writing career, Dahl wrote 19 children's books. He died on November 23, 1990, in Oxford,
"Children are ... highly critical. And they lose interest so quickly. You have to keep things ticking along. And if you think a child is getting bored, you must think up something that jolts it back. Something that tickles. You have to know what children like."
"As I went on, the stories became less and less realistic and more fantastic. But becoming a writer was pure fluke. Without being asked to, I doubt if I'd ever have thought of it."
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."
"The writer for children must be a jokey sort of a fellow. He must like simple tricks and jokes and riddles and other childish things. He must be ... inventive. He must have a really first-class plot."
Famed children's author Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, South Wales, on September 13, 1916. Dahl's parents were Norwegian. As a child, he spent his summer vacations visiting with his grandparents in Oslo. When Dahl was 4 years old, his father died.
The young Dahl received his earliest education at Llandaff Cathedral School. When the principal gave him a harsh beating for playing a practical joke, Dahl's mother decided to enroll her rambunctious and mischievous child at St. Peter's, a British boarding school, as had been her husband's wish. Dahl later transferred to Repton, a private school with a reputation for academic excellence. He resented the rules at Repton; while there, the lively and imaginative youngster was restless and ached for adventure. While Dahl hardly excelled as a student, his mother offered to pay for his tuition at Oxford or Cambridge University when he graduated. Dahl's response, as quoted from his autobiography, Boy: Tales of Childhood, was, "No thank you. I want to go straight from school to work for a company that will send me to wonderful faraway places like Africa or China."
And that he did. After Dahl graduated from Repton in 1932, he went on an expedition to Newfoundland. Afterward, he took a job with the Shell Oil Company in Tanzania, Africa, where he remained until 1939.
Lusting for yet more adventure, in 1939, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force. After training in Nairobi, Kenya, he became a World War II fighter pilot. While serving in the Mediterranean, Dahl crash-landed in Alexandria, Egypt. The plane crash left him with serious injuries to his skull, spine and hip. Following a recovery that included a hip replacement and two spinal surgeries, Dahl was transferred to Washington, D.C., where he became an assistant air attaché.
While in Washington, D.C., Dahl met with author C.S. Forrester, who encouraged him to start writing. Dahl published his first short story in the Saturday Evening Post. He went on to write stories and articles for other magazines, including The New Yorker. Of his early writing career, Dahl told New York Times book reviewer Willa Petschek, "As I went on the stories became less and less realistic and more fantastic." He went on to describe his foray into writing as a "pure fluke," saying, "Without being asked to, I doubt if I'd ever have thought to do it."
Dahl wrote his first story for children, The Gremlins, in 1942, for Walt Disney. The story wasn't terribly successful, so Dahl went back to writing macabre and mysterious stories geared toward adult readers.
Nominated for 12 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is more than a show, it's a phenomenon. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, MATILDA is the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her destiny.
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Like in Gone With the Wind, The Sun Also Rises after Twilight, even in a Pet Cemetary Where the Wild Things Are. But let's not be too morbid and discuss creepy things like The Satanic Verses or try to get an Interview With a Vampire from The Stranger Who Professes 'I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.' Going round in round like this, you may never know Where the Sidewalk Ends, and that would be unfortunate since Uncle Tom's Cabin is just around the corner...
Okay, we could go on, but we won't torture you. You get the point. Our attempt at creative writing is nothing compared to the imaginative minds of our Famous Fiction Authors Group.
Famous Fiction Authors 409 people in this group