Thursday, November 03, 2005

Leo Lehman 1926-2005

Playwright Leo Lehman, a member of the Writers' Guild since 1962, has died at the age of 79.

Leo Lehmann was born in Breslau, Germany on 18 November 1926. He was brought up in Kalisz, Poland until his family fled, along with other Jewish relatives, from the Nazi invasion. At the end of the War, Leo arrived in Scotland with his parents as refugees. In 1949 he became a British citizen.

He studied English at Southampton University and took a postgraduate education degree at London University during which time he met Elizabeth. They married in 1952.

He became a language teacher and began his writing career in his spare time. The 1950s and 1960s saw success on the stage and at the BBC with plays such as Epitaph and Who Cares. In the 1960s and 1970s Leo was prolific in his writing for the German stage and television including plays The East Wind (1967), Chopin Express (1971) and Left-handed Corkscrew (1975).

Leo was a keen historian and wrote stage plays such as Servitus Laval and Trotsky. In 1982 he adapted Janina David's autobiography A Square of Sky which won the Adolf Grimm Gold Award.

In his last years Leo suffered from Parkinson's Disease, but managed to retain both his sense of humour and his passion for his work.

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