Owen, Alun, 1925-1995Alternative names
Alun Owen was born in 1925 in Menai Bridge. His father, Sidney Owen, was a Welshman from Dolgellau and his mother, Ruth, from Holyhead, but of Irish descent. When Alun was 8 years old the family moved to Liverpool where he attended St Michael's Hamlet Primary School and later Oulton High School. As a result, Wales, Ireland and Liverpool were great influences in his life.
When the Second World War broke out he was sent as an evacuee from Liverpool to Llangefni and then to Cardiganshire. He became a Bevin Boy, working in the coal mines of South Wales before turning his hand to acting. He joined the Birmingham Repertory Company and then moved to London to work with various stage companies. As well as appearing in several theatre performances, he also featured in the films, “Shield of Faith”, “Valley of Song” and “The Damn Busters”.
In 1942 Alun Owen married Mary O'Keefe, a set designer. They had two sons, Teifion and Gareth. Mary Owen gave up her career to support her husband and it was she who typed his plays.
Alun Owen began writing in the mid 1950's and in 1957 he had his “big break” as a dramatist when the BBC accepted his radio play “Two Sons”. This success was followed by other well-known plays such as “Progress to the Park”, “Rough and Ready Lot” and the musical “Maggie May”. Although Alun Owen is probably best-known for being the scriptwriter for “A Hard Day's Night”, the 1964 Beatles film, it is significant that this work only brought him fame, not fortune.
Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s Alun Owen was a prolific writer (not only writing plays but also articles on all kinds of topics). He worked hard and played hard, and even in his sixties continued to write. One of his last television dramas was based on the life of the artist, Rembrandt. Later in life Alun Owen appears to have taken part in study schools on creative writing.
Alun Owen died in December 1994.
From the guide to the Alun Owen Papers, 1937-1997, (Bangor University)
- Television plays, English
- Playwrights--20th century
- Dramatists, English--20th century