Lynda La Plante
15 March 1943
|Occupation||Author, screenwriter, actress|
New York, U.S.
Richard La Plante
(m. 1979; div. 1996)
Lynda La Plante was born Lynda Titchmarsh on 15 March 1943. Born and raised in Liverpool, La Plante trained for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After finishing her studies, using the stage name Lynda Marchal, she appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company in a variety of productions, as well as popular television series including Z-Cars, Educating Marmalade, The Sweeney, The Professionals, and Bergerac. However, as an actress she is perhaps best remembered as the hay-fever suffering ghost Tamara Novek in the BBC children's series Rentaghost. In 1974, La Plante took her first scriptwriting job on the ITV children's sitcom The Kids from 47A.
Her breakthrough came in 1983 when she created and wrote the six-part robbery series Widows for Thames Television. The plot concerned the widows of four armed robbers carrying out a heist planned by their deceased husbands. A second series of Widows followed in 1985, while a sequel She's Out took up the story ten years later.
Her debut novel, The Legacy, was published in 1987 and received both critical and best-seller success. Her second, third and fourth novels came soon after – The Talisman (1987), Bella Mafia (1990) and Entwined (1993) – all of which became international best sellers. In 1990 La Plante started working on her next television project, Prime Suspect, which was released by Granada in 1991. Prime Suspect starred Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison, airing in the UK as well as on PBS in the United States as part of the anthology program Mystery!. In 1993 La Plante won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for her work on the series. In 1992 she wrote a TV film called Seekers, starring Brenda Fricker and Josette Simon, produced by Sarah Lawson.
In 1993 La Plante formed her own television production company, La Plante Productions and through her new company she wrote and produced high-rating series The Governor (ITV 1995–96), Supply & Demand (ITV 1997–98), Killer Net (Channel 4 1998), acclaimed series Trial & Retribution (ITV 1997–2009), Mind Games (ITV 2001) and The Commander (ITV 2003–08). During this period La Plante also released the Cold series of books; Cold Shoulder, Cold Blood and Cold Heart, followed by Sleeping Cruelty (2000) – adding to her list of best sellers.
In 1996 La Plante co-wrote and executive produced The Prosecutors (NBC) with Tom Fontana (starring Stockard Channing), wrote and executive produced Bella Mafia (1998 CBS) (starring Vanessa Redgrave), which La Plante adapted from her novel of the same name. In 2001 she co-produced The Warden (2001 TNT), starring Ally Sheedy, a variation of La Plante's series The Governor. La Plante also co-produced her adaptation of the UK hit Widows (2002 ABC) and produced the pilot of Cold Shoulder (2006 New Regency / CBS) starring Kelly McGillis, which was based on her Cold series. La Plante was also executive producer on Daniel Petrie Jnr's adaptation of her show Framed (2002 TNT) which starred Sam Neill and Rob Lowe.
La Plante released Royal Flush (2002), and then began working on her Anna Travis series, which includes Above Suspicion (2004), The Red Dahlia (2005), Clean Cut (2007), Deadly Intent (2008), Silent Scream (2009), Blind Fury (2010), Blood Line (2011), Backlash (2012), and Wrongful Death (2013). So successful were the books that a UK television series was written and produced by La Plante starring Kelly Reilly and Ciarán Hinds.
La Plante has received many awards over the course of her career. For her work on Prime Suspect she received two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Mini Series (1993, 1994), as well as the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Mystery TV Episode. In 2001, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) gave her the Dennis Potter Award for television writing.
In 2008 La Plante was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to Literature, Drama and to Charity. In the same year she received the TV Spielfilm Award at the International Film and Television Festival Conference in Cologne, Germany, for her television adaptation of her novel Above Suspicion.
In 2009 La Plante was inducted into the Crime Thriller Awards Hall of Fame and most recently, in 2013, La Plante was awarded an Honorary Fellowship with the Forensic Science Society (FSSoc), the first non-scientist to be inducted into the professional body – receiving the award for the accuracy with which she portrays forensic science in her work.