Best-known as one of the leading British playwrights of the later twentieth century and as a Nobel Prize winner, Harold Pinter was also a poet, actor, theatre director, and writer of radio plays and screenplays both original and adapted. He was early recognised for stage violence, for comedy of menace and theatre of the absurd. His work became more urgently political with time. He stripped the excess fat from theatre dialogue, and mapped out his own distinctive theatrical topography: "a place haunted by the ambivalence of memory, flecked by uncertainty, reeking of sex, and echoing with a strange, mordant laughter."
Christmas Eve 2008 HP died at Hammersmith Hospital in London, having collapsed at home two days before. That morning "all the grandchildren who were in England came to visit him and give him a last kiss."