Vale John Mortimer 1923-2009

English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter and author John Mortimer passed Friday at the ripe old age of 85.

Mortimer started his career in film, writing scripts for propaganda films during World War Two. After spending some time in radio, he was called to the bar in 1948, where he first came to public attention.

During the late 60s and early 70s Mortimer served as the Defense Barrister in a number of obscenity trials, the most famous of all being the publication of Oz Magazine. That case went on to be turned into books, and a television mini-series, and made celebrities out of most of its participants.

But it was as a writer that Mortimer’s work shall live on, as the creator of Rumpole of the Bailey. Created in 1975 as a one off for the BBC, Rumpole ended up as a regular BBC series staring Leo McKern from 1975 through to 1992. Mortimer also wrote the books for the series.

Mortimer is survived by his wife and four children.