You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Scribe Crisp dies at 90

Eccentric writer best known for 'The Naked Civil Servant'

LONDON (AP) — Quentin Crisp, the eccentric writer, performer and raconteur best known for his autobiography “The Naked Civil Servant,” which was made into a TV film starring John Hurt, died Sunday after collapsing at a private residence in Manchester. He was 90.

Crisp, who lived principally in New York City for decades, was in his native Britain to begin touring with his popular one-man show.

A slight, dandified figure who wore makeup and high-heeled shoes and piled his white hair in bouffant waves on top of his head, Crisp made no secret of the fact that he was gay.

Born on Dec. 28, 1908, as Denis Pratt in Sutton, south of London, he worked as a commercial artist, part-time prostitute and art school model after leaving school. He declared his homosexuality in his 20s.

Crisp first stepped into the public arena with his 1968 autobiography, “The Naked Civil Servant,” later adapted for television. It was widely praised and sold well. The book was made into a film in 1975 with Hurt as Crisp. By now, he was a cult figure — what he called “the mother superior of homosexuality.”

Crisp wrote several more books mixing more autobiography with essays on manners and morals. Titles were “How to Have a Lifestyle,” “How to Become a Virgin” and “Resident Alien.”

His evolving one-man show, “An Evening With Quentin Crisp,” debuted Off Off Broadway in 1978 to excellent reviews and was periodically revived and toured. Crisp also appeared in the 1993 film “Orlando,” in which he played Queen Elizabeth.

More Film

  • Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    Film News Roundup: 'Lawnmower Man' Director Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    In today’s film news roundup, “Elijah” gets a director, a French fry documentary starts shooting and “Uglydolls” moves its release date forward. PROJECT LAUNCH Brett Leonard, best known for directing ”The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity,” will direct the supernatural feature film “Elijah,” based on the Old Testament prophet. The project is set up at Winter [...]


    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]


    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content