Tuesday, April 21, 2015

4/21/1923 John Mortimer is born

April 21, 1923.  John Mortimer entered the world on this date in London.  His father was a barrister who specialized in divorce cases.  His father went blind in the 1930s but continued his career and the family never mentioned his condition.

Mortimer became a barrister in 1948, and his most famous cases involved obscenity charges.  His other career was as an author of novels, plays and radio scripts.  But his most memorable character was one he claimed he invented as a retirement plan: the feisty, unbearable, utterly lovable barrister Horace Rumpole.  As portrayed by Australian Leo McKern Rumpole was an instant classic.  He started in radio, moved to television, and Mortimer also carried him into novels.  Rumpole, who had proudly served in the RAF ground staff during the war, was still  defending bad guys and innocents with equal defiance in Rumpole Misbehaves (2007).

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