Ray Cooney

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Ray Cooney
Born Raymond George Alfred Cooney
(1932-05-30) 30 May 1932 (age 85)
London, England
Occupation Playwright, actor
Spouse Linda Cooney (m. 1962)
Debut works One for the Pot
Notable work(s) Run for Your Wife
Works with John Chapman
Gene Stone
Earl Barret

Raymond George Alfred Cooney, OBE (born 30 May 1932) is an English playwright and actor. His biggest success, Run for Your Wife (1983) ran for nine years in London's West End and is its longest-running comedy.[1] He has had 17 of his plays performed there.[2]


Cooney began to act 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. 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.

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.

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 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 theatre farce.[3]

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. Ray Cooney is greatly admired in France where he is known as "Le Feydeau Anglais", ("The English Feydeau"), in reference to the French farceur Georges Feydeau.

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.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Cooney married Linda Dixon in 1962. One of their two sons, Michael, is a screenwriter.[citation needed]


  • 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?) [5]
  • Funny Money (1994)
  • Caught in the Net (2001)
  • Tom, Dick and Harry (2003)
  • Time's Up (2005)
  • Twice In A Lifetime (2011)




  1. ^ "Artist: Ray Cooney". Art & Culture. 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  2. ^ "In the Farce Lane". UK Writer. Writers' Guild of Great Britain. Spring 2005. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  3. ^ "Run For Your Wife". Run For Your Wife. Retrieved 2011-12-31. 
  4. ^ "Dramatist Cooney becomes an OBE". BBC News. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 2009-02-03. 
  5. ^ "Reviews - archive". 

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