Bill & Erna Naughton, photographed by Colin O'Brien, 1962
|Born||12 June 1910|
Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland
|Died||9 January 1992 (aged 81)|
Ballasalla, Isle of Man
|Occupation||Playwright, screenwriter, novelist|
Born into relative poverty in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland, he moved to Bolton, Lancashire, England, in 1914 as a child. There he attended Saint Peter and Paul's School, and worked as a weaver, coal-bagger and lorry-driver before he started writing.
Although best remembered for his play, Alfie, mostly because of the British film starring Michael Caine in the eponymous role, Naughton was a prolific writer of plays, novels, short stories and children's books. His preferred environment was working class society, which is reflected in much of his written work.
In addition to Alfie, at least two of his other plays have been made into feature films. These are Spring and Port Wine, which had James Mason starring in the role of Rafe Crompton, and All in Good Time, filmed as The Family Way, which starred John Mills. His novel Alfie Darling, the sequel to his earlier novel and play, was also filmed, with Alan Price succeeding Michael Caine in the lead role.
His work also includes the novel One Small Boy (1957), and the collection of short stories The Goalkeeper's Revenge: And Other Stories (1961). His 1977 children's novel My Pal Spadger is an account of his childhood in 1920s Bolton.
Many of his plays were performed at the Octagon Theatre in Bolton town centre. An 85-seat adaptable studio theatre within the Octagon is named after him.
During his lifetime, he received the following awards: