|Born||Raymond George Alfred Cooney
30 May 1932
London, England, UK
|Debut works||One for the Pot|
|Magnum opus||Run for Your Wife|
|Works with||John Chapman
Raymond George Alfred Cooney, OBE (born 30 May 1932) is an English playwright and actor. His biggest success, Run for Your Wife, lasted nine years in London's West End and is its longest-running comedy. He has had 17 of his plays performed there.
Cooney began acting in 1946 appearing in many of the Whitehall farces of Brian Rix throughout the 1950s and '60s. It was during this time that he co-wrote his first play One For The Pot. In 1961, together with Tony Hilton, he co-wrote the screenplay for the British comedy film What a Carve Up!, featuring Sid James and Kenneth Connor. Cooney co-wrote a farce with his son Michael, Tom, Dick and Harry. In 1983, Cooney created the Theatre of Comedy Company and became its artistic director. During his tenure the company produced over twenty plays such as Pygmalion starring Peter O'Toole and John Thaw, Loot, and Run For Your Wife.
Cooney has also appeared on TV and in several films, including a film adaptation of his successful theatrical farce Not Now, Darling (1973), which he co-wrote with John Chapman. Cooney's farces combine a traditional British bawdiness with structural complication, as characters leap to assumptions, are forced to pretend to be things that they aren't and often talk at cross-purposes to 'hilarious effect'. In 2005, Cooney was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama.
Ray Cooney is greatly admired in France where he is known as "Le Feydeau Anglais", which means "The English Feydeau", in reference to the French playwright Georges Feydeau who wrote French farces. In 2012 Cooney produced and directed a UK-made film, Run For Your Wife, based on his own theatre farce Run For Your Wife.
- Who Were You With Last Night? (1962)
- Chase me, Comrade (1964)
- Charlie Girl (1965)
- One for the Pot (1966)
- Stand by Your Bedouin (1966)
- My Giddy Aunt (1967)
- Move Over Mrs. Markham (1969)
- Why Not Stay for Breakfast? (1970)
- Come Back to My Place (1973)
- Not Now, Darling (1973)
- There Goes the Bride (1974)
- Two into One (1981)
- Her Royal Highness (co-written with Royce Ryton) (1981)
- Run for Your Wife (1983)
- Wife Begins at Forty (1985)
- It Runs in the Family (1987)
- Out of Order (1991)
- Funny Money (1994)
- Caught in the Net (2001)
- Tom, Dick and Harry (2003)
- Time's Up (2005)
- "Artist: Ray Cooney". Art & Culture. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- "In the Farce Lane". UK Writer (Writers' Guild of Great Britain). Spring 2005. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- "Dramatist Cooney becomes an OBE". BBC News. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- "Run For Your Wife". Run For Your Wife. Retrieved 2011-12-31.