September 13, 1916
Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales
November 23, 1990
Oxford, England, United Kingdom
Liccy Dahl, Patricia Neal
A major figure in children's literature, British writer Roald Dahl also excelled at crafting tales for adults, along with the occasional screenplay. During World War II, Dahl became a formidable young fighter pilot, and used those experiences as the basis for his earliest published writings, which included the children's book The Gremlins (1943). Dahl subsequently focused on distinctly non-kid-friendly stories that showcased his barbed dark humor. In the 1960s, he returned to literature for youngsters, penning fantastical classics such as James and the Giant Peach (1961) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964). Dahl also worked directly in film and television, writing for the macabre mystery series "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (NBC, 1955-1965) and movies such as the Bond adventure "You Only Live Twice" (1967). In 1961, Dahl hosted the eerie TV show "Way Out" (CBS), and he later created the series "Tales of the Unexpected" (ITV, 1979-1988), both of which featured adaptations of his singularly sinister stories. Dahl continued to pen fiction for all ages until his death in 1990. His legacy endures, not only in his many beloved books, but also in their various film incarnations, which tend to be at least a little bit droll and unusual.