Belfast Telegraph

The Long Good Friday writer Barrie Keeffe dies aged 74

The Londoner tackled political themes across a varied career.

Barrie Keeffe (University of Warwick/PA)
Barrie Keeffe (University of Warwick/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Barrie Keeffe, who penned the screenplay for the gangster film The Long Good Friday, has died at the age of 74.

The political writer died early on Tuesday morning in London following a short illness.

He was best known for penning the screenplay for the 1980 British gangster classic, which starred Bob Hoskins and Dame Helen Mirren.

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Dame Helen Mirren starred in The Long Good Friday (Matt Crossick/PA)

Born in London, Keeffe joined the National Youth Theatre after working as a journalist.

He produced some 20 theatre plays, many of which tackled politics themes.

Gimme Shelter addressed class, Barbarians was an attempt to “capture the energy of punk” and Sus explored institutionalised racism in the police.

He worked with the Soho Poly and the Theatre Royal Stratford East during his early years.

Keeffe also produced a handful of plays for radio and TV, and two novels – 1969’s Gadabout and 1983’s No Excuses.

He was a United Nations Ambassador in 1995, the body’s 50th anniversary year, and was made an honorary doctor of letters at Warwick University in 2010.

Keeffe’s first wife was novelist and theatre producer Verity Bargate. He was later married to film and television producer Jacky Stoller.

PA

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