Raymond George Alfred Cooney, OBE (born 30 May 1932) is an English playwright, actor, and director. His biggest success, Run for Your Wife (1983), ran for nine years in London's West End and is its longest-running comedy. He has had 17 of his plays performed there.
|Born||Raymond George Alfred Cooney|
30 May 1932
|Notable works||Run for Your Wife|
|Spouse||Linda Cooney (m. 1962)|
Cooney began to act in 1946, appearing in many of the Whitehall farces of Brian Rix throughout the 1950s and 1960s. It was during this time that he co-wrote his first play, One For The Pot. With Tony Hilton, he co-wrote the screenplay for the British comedy film What a Carve Up! (1961), which features Sid James and Kenneth Connor.
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. He co-wrote a farce with his son Michael, Tom, Dick and Harry (1993). Cooney produced and directed the film Run For Your Wife (2012), based on his own play. The film however was not a success: it was savaged by critics and has been referred to as one of the worst films of all time.
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 are not, and often talk at cross-purposes. He is greatly admired in France where he is known as "Le Feydeau Anglais", ("The English Feydeau"), in reference to the French farceur Georges Feydeau. Many of his plays have been first produced, or revived, at the Théâtre de la Michodière in Paris.
In January 1975, Cooney was the subject of This Is Your Life when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews at London's Savoy Hotel. In 2005, Cooney was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his services to drama.
- 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)
- Elvis (1977)
- 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)
- Dead Trouble (Calibre Cassette Library for the Blind made in association with Challenge Anneka Episode 5 of Series 1; 1989) which then became Out of Order)
- Out of Order (1991) (also performed under the alternative title Whose Wife is it Anyway?) 
- Funny Money (1994)
- Caught in the Net (2001)
- Tom, Dick and Harry (2003)
- Time's Up (2005)
- Twice In A Lifetime (2011)
- One for the Pot, directed by Alfred Travers (South Africa, 1968, based on the play One for the Pot)
- Not Now, Darling, directed by Ray Cooney and David Croft (1973, based on the play Not Now, Darling)
- Not Now, Comrade, directed by Ray Cooney and Harold Snoad (1976, based on the play Chase me, Comrade)
- Why Not Stay for Breakfast?, directed by Terry Marcel (1979, based on the play Why Not Stay for Breakfast?)
- There Goes the Bride, directed by Terry Marcel (1980, based on the play There Goes the Bride)
- Sé infiel y no mires con quién, directed by Fernando Trueba (Spain, 1985, based on the play Move Over Mrs. Markham)
- Ute av drift, directed by Knut Bohwim (Norway, 1992, based on the play Out of Order)
- Out of Order, directed by András Kern and Róbert Koltai (Hungary, 1997, based on the play Out of Order)
- Funny Money, directed by Leslie Greif (2006, based on the play Funny Money)
- Run for Your Wife, directed by Ray Cooney and John Luton (2012, based on the play Run for Your Wife)
- "Artist: Ray Cooney". Art & Culture. 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- "In the Farce Lane". UK Writer. Writers' Guild of Great Britain. Spring 2005. Archived from the original on 6 February 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- "Run For Your Wife". Run For Your Wife. Retrieved 31 December 2011.
- "Dramatist Cooney becomes an OBE". BBC News. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
- Grigware, Don (19 November 2015). "BWW Interview: Internationally Renown British Actor/ Playwright RAY COONEY Talks About son Michael Cooney's CASH ON DELIVERY at the El Portal". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "Reviews - archive".