Jonathan Lynn

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Jonathan Lynn
Born (1943-04-03) 3 April 1943 (age 71)
Bath, Somerset, England
Occupation Film director, writer, comedian, actor
Known for         1967 Twice a Fortnight
1969–78 The Liver Birds
1969–70 Doctor in the House
1980–84 Yes Minister (co-writer)
1986–88 Yes, Prime Minister (co-writer)

Jonathan Lynn (born 3 April 1943 ) is an English film director, comedy writer and actor. He is known for directing comedy films such as Nuns on the Run and My Cousin Vinny, and for earlier co-creating and co-writing the TV series Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.

Early life[edit]

Born in Bath, Somerset, Lynn was educated at Kingswood School, Bath, between 1954 and 1961, after which he studied Law at Pembroke College, Cambridge (where his uncle, Israeli statesman Abba Eban studied also). There he participated in the Cambridge University Footlights Club revue Cambridge Circus (appearing with the revue in 1964 on Broadway and on The Ed Sullivan Show).[1]


In 1967, he played Motel the tailor in the original West End production of Fiddler on the Roof (production recorded by CBS Records).[2]

From the late 1960s, Lynn was appearing in and writing television sitcoms, including the television comedy series Twice a Fortnight with Graeme Garden, Bill Oddie, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Tony Buffery.[3]

He also played the Irish medical student Danny Hooley in the second series of the television comedy Doctor in the House in 1970 (Jonathan Lynn returned as Danny Hooley, for one episode of Doctor in Charge, "Should Auld Acquaintance be Forgot?", after Hooley had been working as a doctor). He also wrote some episodes for Doctor at Large, Doctor in Charge, Doctor at Sea and Doctor on the Go.[4]

As an actor, his most memorable role was as Beryl's boyfriend Robert in early series of The Liver Birds.[5]

As a writer[edit]

As a writer, in addition to episodes in the Doctor TV series, he worked on On the Buses and wrote for Harry Worth before eventually, in partnership with Antony Jay, writing Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.[6] His later writing credits include the first two films he directed, Clue (1985) and Nuns on the Run (1990).[7] He is also known for his co-writing of the revived Yes, Prime Minister series produced by the BBC on Gold in 2013.

As a director[edit]

Lynn has directed numerous films,[8] including:

Lynn won praise for his direction of the stage version of Yes, Prime Minister (London, 2010).[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sir Anthony Jay CVO and Jonathan Lynn". Political Studies Association. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Jonathan Lynn". Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  3. ^ "Twice a Fortnight Cast List". Ranker. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Jonathan Lynn Biography (1943-)". Film Reference. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  5. ^ "Liver Birds". BBC. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Jonathan Lynn on Yes, Prime Minister's rise to high office". Radio Times. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  7. ^ "Biography". Jonathan Lynn. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "Jonathan Lynn". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 10 February 2013. 
  9. ^ Lahr, John (11 October 2010). "Brits and Wits". The New Yorker: 116–118. "...a new stage version of 'Yes, Prime Minister' (expertly directed by Lynn, at the Gielgud, in London)..." 

Further reading[edit]

  • Wilmut, Roger (1980). From Fringe to Flying Circus: Celebrating a Unique Generation of Comedy. Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-413-50770-9. 
  • Hewison, Robert (1983). Footlights!: A hundred years of Cambridge comedy. Methuen London. ISBN 978-0-413-51150-8. 

External links[edit]