Hugh Leonard (pseudonym of John Keyes Byrne) was born in 1926 and raised in Dalkey, County Dublin.
His output is vast and complex, encompassing theatre, including adaptations; television, including Insurrection (RTÉ, 1966), and many adaptations; film, memoir, criticism and journalism.
Included amongst his plays are The Big Birthday Suit (Dublin, The Abbey Theatre, 1956); A Leap in the Dark (The Abbey Theatre, 1957); Stephen D ([Adaptation of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Stephen Hero, by James Joyce] Dublin Theatre Festival, 1962), published as Stephen D (London and New York, Evans, 1964); The Poker Session (London, Evans, 1964); Mick and Mick (London, Samuel French, 1966); The Late Arrival of Incoming Aircraft (London, Evans/French, 1968); The Patrick Pearse Motel, London, Samuel French, 1971); The Au Pair Man (New York, Samuel French, 1974); Da (Newark, Delaware, Proscenium, 1975/revised edition New York, Atheneum/London, Samuel French, 1974); Time Was (Samuel French, 1980); A Life (Samuel French, 1980/Atheneum, 1981); Suburb of Babylon ([three one act plays – A Time of Wolves and Tigers, Nothing Personal, and The Last of the Mohicans] Samuel French, 1983); Pizazz: a View from the Obelisk, Roman Fever, Pizazz([three one act plays] Samuel French, 1986); Selected Plays of Hugh Leonard (ed. S.F. Gallagher. Gerards Cross, Buckinghamshire., Gerard Smythe, 1992); and Moving (Samuel French, 1994). His essays include Leonard’s Last Book (Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, Egotist, 1978); and A Peculiar People and Other Foibles (Tansy Books, 1979).
His autobiography is in two volumes, Home Before Night (London, Andre Deutsch, 1979); and Out After Dark (Andre Deutsch, 1989), both re-issued by Methuen (London, 2002); and he has published one novel, Parnell and the Englishwoman (London, Andre Deutsch, 1992).
Leonard received the Tony Award in 1977 for his play Da.
He died in Dublin, on February 12, 2009.