Roald Dahl

Biography

Date of Birth 13 September 1916, Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales, UK Date of Death 23 November 1990, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK (leukemia) Height 6' 6" (1.98 m) Mini Biography Roald Dahl was born in Wales in 1916. He served as a fighter pilot in the British R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) during World War II. He made a forced landing in the Libyan Desert and was severely injured. As a result, he spent five months in a Royal Navy hospital in Alexandria. Dahl is known for how he relates suspenseful events in a simple tone. Roald Dahl was a famous short story writer who became one of the most successful and beloved children's writers of all time. He also wrote several screenplays. Born in Wales to parents of Norwegian descent, he attended British schools, but never went to university, opting to go work for the Shell Oil Company instead. He worked there for a few years, but when World War II started, he joined the RAF. While assistant air attaché in Washington DC, he began writing, which after the war became his life-long vocation. He wrote two novels, two autobiographies, nineteen children's books, and many short story collections, the most notable being Kiss Kiss (1959) and Switch Bitch (1974). He died of leukemia in 1990. Spouse Liccy Dahl (15 December 1983 - 23 November 1990) (his death) Patricia Neal (2 July 1953 - 17 November 1983) (divorced) 5 children Trivia Parents were Norwegian Grandfather of British model Sophie Dahl Credited with coining the term 'Gremlin' during the Second World War. These were little men who lived inside fighter plane engines, causing them to stall at the worst possible time. The Helga (Luke's grandmother) character in "The Witches" was based on his own Norwegian grandmother, who he said was a tough and fearless woman. Nearly lost his nose in a car accident. Father died of pneumonia when Roald was 3. Daughter, Olivia, died of the measles at age 7. Wrote his novels in his garden shed. He allegedly declined to receive an O.B.E. (Officer of the order of the British Empire) in 1986. He replaced Richard Maibaum as screenwriter for You Only Live Twice (1967) at the last minute. Maibaum returned to the chair in 1969. Wrote two screenplays based on books by Ian Fleming: You Only Live Twice (1967) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Coincidentally, Fleming's cousin, Christopher Lee, appears in the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), based on Dahl's book. He also appears in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), which is named after a word Dahl coined. In one of Dahl's short stories, "Beware of the Dog," a fighter pilot is shot down during wartime and loses one of his legs. He recovers in a hospital only to discover that he is in Nazi-occupied France. Although the story is based on Dahl's WWII experiences, it is not entirely autobiographical; Dahl did crash his plane, but did not lose a leg or become a prisoner of war. Flew Hawker Hurricanes in 80 Squadron in WWII. He strongly disliked Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), which was based upon his children's classic "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". He felt it made the story world, which he had created, too peaceful, to his personality. His only son, Theo Dahl, suffered a brain injury when his baby carriage was struck by a taxi when the boy was just four-months old. The most serious of his injuries was hydrocephalus (commonly known as water on the brain). Dahl got together with a pair of friends - a neurosurgeon and an engineer - and created a device called the Wade-Dahl-Till valve to alleviate cranial pressure. Theo recovered before the device was perfected, but the device allowed thousands of others suffering from hydrocephalus to recover from their injuries, also! His book, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", is dedicated to Theo, who almost died. When his first wife, actress Patricia Neal, started suffering a series of devastating strokes in 1965, he was appalled at the lack of effective rehabilitation. He subsequently designed techniques that restored her to full functionality after the doctors had told him she would never recover. His techniques are now standard procedure throughout the world in the numerous treatments of victims of a stroke. He fathered five children, four daughters and one son with first wife, Patricia Neal: Olivia Twenty Dahl was born on Wednesday, April 20th, 1955 and she died from measles' illness on Saturday, November 17th, 1962. His second daughter, Chantal "Tessa" Sophia Dahl, was born on Thursday, April 11th, 1957, aka Tessa Dahl. His only son was the third of five, Theo Matthew Roald Dahl was born on Saturday, July 30th, 1960, aka Theo Dahl. Third daughter, Ophelia Magdalena Dahl was born on Tuesday, May 12th, 1964, aka Ophelia Dahl, and Lucy Neal Dahl was born on Wednesday, August 4th, 1965, aka Lucy Dahl. Enjoyed drinking both whiskey and wine in the evenings. In the company of adults, he became bored quite quickly. Loved to eat chocolate, and admitted that he ate too much of it. Had a bad back, which caused him to become ill-tempered. Enjoyed betting on horse races, even though he usually lost. Honored by a set of British commemorative postage stamps issued 10 January 2012. The stamps feature illustrations by Quentin Blake, which were originally used in the following children's books by Dahl: "Fantastic Mr. Fox", "The Twits", "The Witches", "James and the Giant Peach", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "Matilda", and "The BFG". Personal Quotes [when asked what the his formula for success was as an author of children's books] Conspiring with children against adults. [1988 interview with Todd McCormack] When you're writing a book, with people in it as opposed to animals, it is no good having people who are ordinary, because they are not going to interest your readers at all. Every writer in the world has to use the characters that have something interesting about them and this is even more true in children's books. I find that the only way to make my characters really interesting to children is to exaggerate all their good or bad qualities, and so if a person is nasty or bad or cruel, you make them very nasty, very bad, very cruel. If they are ugly, you make them extremely ugly. That, I think, is fun and makes an impact. A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not. My faults and foibles are legion

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Birth Name

Roald Dahl

Birth Place

Llandaff

Birth Date

9/13/1916

Death Date

11/23/1990
Known For
Movie Poster

Tales of the Unexpected, Set 1

Himself - Introduced by (30 episodes, 1979-1981)

Starring In
Movie Poster

Tales of the Unexpected, Set 1

Himself - Introduced by (30 episodes, 1979-1981)

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