Rosenthal, Jack

Jack Rosenthal was a screenwriter and playwright. He was born in Manchester in 1931 to a Jewish family. He studied English literature at Sheffield University. In 1961, he joined Granada Television and began writing for the longest and still running British soap opera Coronation Street, contributing more than 100 episodes.

His most famous works include The Dustbinmen (1969-70), The Lovers (1970-71), London’s Burning (1988), and Bye Bye Baby (1992). Bar Mitzvah Boy (1976) deals with the embarrassment and pride of the Jewish rite of passage. His script The Evacuees (1975) for the BBC is based on his experiences during the war, following the story of Jewish evacuees attempting to return to Manchester. Both of these latter plays won Rosenthal a BAFTA Award, as did Spend, Spend, Spend (1977), the story of a football pools winner. Alongside Barbra Streisand, Rosenthal wrote the film Yentl (1983), in which a Jewish girl must pretend to be male in order to attend a priest school.

Rosenthal won a Golden Globe, a Writer’s Guild Best Series Award, three British Academy Best Play Awards. In 1994, Rosenthal was awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was married to actress Maureen Lipman and is the father of writers Amy Rosenthal and Adam Rosenthal.

Jack Rosenthal died in 2004.