The 1963 adaption of the book, based on the author’s rugby-playing experience, would earn Richard Harris and Rachel Roberts Oscar nominations.
David Storey, the British author and playwright whose debut novel This Sporting Life he adapted into an Oscar-nominated film, has died. He was 83.
“Dad died peacefully with his family around him. He gave and inspired great love, drew us out and showed us how the world really is,” a spokesman for his four children said.
Storey won the Booker Prize in 1976 for the family drama Saville and also saw his play Home adapted into a film starring John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson.
But it was his debut novel, published in 1960 and based on his experiences playing professional rugby league, for which he would be best known.
The 1963 adaption from director Lindsay Anderson and a screenplay by Storey starred Richard Harris, Rachel Roberts, William Hartnell and Alan Badel, and won Harris — in his first starring role — the best actor award in Cannes that year.
Harris would also be nominated for an Oscar for best actor, losing out to Sidney Poitier for Lillies of the Field. Roberts — who won her second BAFTA award for the film — would also get an Oscar nomination for best actress, which eventually went to Patricia Neal for Hud.
Storey was born in the county of Yorkshire in the north of England, where an exhibition of his drawings was shown in the Hepworth Gallery last year.
Storey’s wife Barbara Hamilton passed away in 2015.