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RICHARD CURTIS (Written and Directed by/ Executive Producer) was born in New Zealand in 1956 and raised in the Philippines, Sweden and the U.K. He has now lived in London off and on for more than 35 years. Curtis began writing comedy after leaving Oxford University in 1978. He had worked with Rowan Atkinson there -- and continued to do so. His first job on television was writing for the topical sketch show Not the Nine O'Clock News for the BBC. He then went on to write The Black Adder series, a situation comedy set in four different eras of British history, always starring Rowan Atkinson in a different amusing haircut. The last three series were co-written with Ben Elton.

During these years, Curtis, Atkinson and Elton staged two comedy revues in London's West End and Curtis wrote his first film, The Tall Guy. The film was directed by Mel Smith and starred Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson, in her first film. It was produced by Working Title, the production company with whom Curtis has worked with since.

Back on television, Curtis and Atkinson began working on Mr. Bean, and continued for some years to make intermittent programs starring the man in the tie who says very little. Mr. Bean has become one of the world's most famous comic creations. In 1993, Curtis wrote Bernard and the Genie, a wholesome Christmas fantasy, which starred Lenny Henry and Alan Cumming. In December 1993, Curtis was awarded the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award for Top Comedy Writer.

Curtis' second film, Four Weddings and a Funeral, was directed by Mike Newell, produced by Duncan Kenworthy and starred Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowell. It was released in March 1994. The film won a French Cesar, an Australian Film Institute Award and the BAFTA Award for Best Film. At the Academy Awards, the film was nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Picture.

Curtis' next film, Notting Hill, which starred Julia Roberts and Grant, was released in May 1999. At the time of its release, it was the highest-grossing British film ever.

Curtis was co-writer of Bean, which starred Atkinson, and the award-winning screenplay Bridget Jones's Diary, which starred Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Grant.

In 2003, Curtis wrote and directed Love Actually, a story about many different kinds of love set during the Christmas season. The film featured 22 leading characters, including Firth, Grant, Thompson, Bill Nighy, Liam Neeson, Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton. He was also co-writer of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

In 2005, Curtis wrote the G8 Summit drama The Girl in the Cafe for HBO and the BBC, which starred Nighy and Kelly Macdonald. The drama won three Primetime Emmy Awards, including Made for Television Movie. In the meantime, he had been writing The Vicar of Dibley, a sitcom about a female vicar in a small English village. The Black Adder and The Vicar of Dibley were voted the 2nd and 3rd most popular British sitcoms of all time.

In 2008, Curtis co-wrote The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, with Anthony Minghella. That same year, Curtis wrote and directed Pirate Radio, a comedy about a 1966 pirate radio station. In 2011, he co-wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg's War Horse.

In 2012, Curtis wrote the BBC/HBO television movie Mary and Martha, about two mothers who lose their sons to malaria. The film was directed by Phillip Noyce and starred Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn. Curtis is co-founder and vice-chairman of Comic Relief, the organization that runs Red Nose Day and Sport Relief in Britain. He began the charity after a trip to Ethiopia during the 1985 famine. Since 1988, Curtis has co-produced the 14 live nights of Comic Relief for the BBC. Comic Relief has made more than $1 billion for charity projects in Africa and the U.K.

Curtis was a founding member of the Make Poverty History coalition and worked throughout 2004 and 2005 on the campaign, in addition to Live 8, which concentrated on trade justice, more and better aid, and debt cancellation for the world's poorest countries. Curtis was executive producer of Idol Gives Back for American Idol in April 2007, which raised more than $75 million for projects helping the poorest children and young people in the U.S. and Africa. Idol Gives Back received the 2007 Governors Award at the Primetime Emmys.

Curtis is not married to Emma Freud. Together, they have a daughter, Scarlett, and three sons, Jake, Charlie and Spike. In 2000, Curtis was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2007, he was awarded a BAFTA fellowship.


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