Jan de Hartog
Date of Birth
Apr 22, 1914

Biography

An author whose novels were often translated to film, Jan de Hartog had a special gift for parlaying his unique experiences into fascinating literature. Born the son of a minister in the Haarlem, Noord-Holland region of the Netherlands, de Hartog ran away to live his life at sea before ultimately returning to terra firma to study at Netherlands Naval College. Following a period as an actor and writer at the Amsterdam Municipal Theater, de Hartog returned to his life as a sailor, penning numerous detective stories and the popular novel Holland's Glory. After residing in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation and moving to England following World War II, de Hartog would begin writing in English. It was this phase in his career that the then-established author began penning a series of novels which would be successfully translated to film. In addition to his best-known film adaptation The Four Poster (1952), The Spiral Road (1962), Lisa (1962), The Key (1958), and The Little Ark (1972) would also become moderately successful page-to-screen efforts. Though many of these stories struck a chord with audiences, it was The Fourposter, a novel written while de Hartog was in hiding from the Nazis, that proved to be one of his greatest successes. Also adapted as a Broadway play starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, the stage version of The Fourposter received a Tony award in 1952 for Best Play. In addition to his life at sea, de Hartog also spent a period of time volunteering at a Houston hospital. The author would later reveal the questionable medical conditions at the hospital in the non-fiction exposé The Hospital. De Hartog died in September 2002. He was 88. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Provided by Rovi