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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Piers Haggard

Born (1939-03-18) 18 March 1939 (age 82)
London, England
OccupationTheatre director, film director, television director

Piers Inigo Haggard, OBE (born 18 March 1939), is a British theatre, film and television director, although he has worked mostly in the latter.[1]

Haggard was born in London but grew up on a small farm in Clackmannanshire. He is the great-great-nephew of Sir Henry Rider Haggard, and the son of Morna Gillespie and the actor, poet, and novelist Stephen Haggard, who died in 1943. Haggard is married to stained glass artist Anna Sklovsky, with whom he has two children, the actress Daisy Haggard, and William Haggard who is an architect. He has four children by his first marriage, Sarah, Claire, Rachel and Philip.

Haggard began his career as an assistant director at the Royal Court in 1960, then directed at Dundee Rep and Glasgow Citizens before joining the first National Theatre company in 1963 where he co-directed (John Dexter and Bill Gaskill) and assisted Laurence Olivier and Franco Zeffirelli.

In 1965, he moved to BBC Television, directing plays for the anthology drama series Thirty-Minute Theatre in the 1960s, later working on the more prestigious anthology shows, Armchair Theatre (for ITV) and Play for Today (for the BBC), as well as Callan and Public Eye for the commercial network . He directed for a variety of programmes throughout the 1970s, such as The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, The Love School, Love for Lydia and Play of the Month: The Chester Mystery Plays (1976).

Probably his best known work is Dennis Potter's BBC drama serial Pennies From Heaven (1978) for which he received a BAFTA Award as its director. The following year he directed the ambitious science-fiction serial Quatermass, a Euston Films production for Thames Television, which was shown on the ITV network. Both of these productions are available on DVD, and the Pennies From Heaven release includes an audio commentary from Haggard (also with series producer Kenith Trodd).

His film work includes Wedding Night (1970); the cult classic The Blood on Satan's Claw (1970); the cinema version of Quatermass (1980); Summer Story (1988); The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980), Peter Sellers' last film; and Venom (1982). Haggard's audio commentary on Venom is well known for its forthrightness, and some hilarious anecdotes on the competitive antics of stars Oliver Reed and Klaus Kinski. In 1982 he also directed The Ticket of Leave Man at the National Theatre.

Later television work included Mrs Reinhardt (1986); a number of US TV Specials with stars such as Liza Minnelli, Cheryl Ladd, and Judge Reinholdt; the Gerry Anderson science-fiction series Space Precinct (1994); and various one-off TV dramas such as Eskimo Day (1996), Cold Enough For Snow (1997), and The Hunt (2001). The Canadian prairies-set Conquest (1998) was his last feature film. He directed Academy Award winners Vanessa Redgrave and Maximilian Schell in the 2006 mini-series The Shell Seekers.

Haggard has also had a 40-year parallel career campaigning for directors’ rights. He was president of The Association of Directors and Producers in 1976; he founded and was first chairman of the Directors Guild of Great Britain (DGGB), formed in 1982 at a meeting of over a hundred film, theatre, and television directors at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club in London. He started the Directors’ and Producers' Rights Society (DPRS, 1987), serving on its board for 20 years, until it transmuted in 2007 into Directors UK, which he still serves as a board member. He was also vice president and chairman of FERA, the Association of European film directors, from 2010 to 2013.

Haggard was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2016 New Year Honours for services to film, television, and theatre.[2]

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Selected filmography


  1. ^ The New York Times
  2. ^ "No. 61450". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2015. p. N12.

External links

This page was last edited on 25 July 2021, at 00:51
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