Birth: 1948, England, UK

William Nicholson FRSL is a British screenwriter, playwright, and novelist and has been nominated twice for an Oscar.


A native of Lewes, Sussex, William Nicholson was raised in a Catholic family in Gloucestershire. By the time he reached his tenth birthday, he had decided to become a writer. He was educated at Downside School, Somerset, and Christ's College, Cambridge.


At the start of his career, Nicholson worked for the BBC as a director of documentary films, with numerous works to his credit, between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s.


He gained renown as a novelist and playwright when the first book of his popular Wind On Fire trilogy won the Blue Peter best book award and the Smarties Gold Award for best children's book. He has written several novels and fantasy books.


He has twice been nominated for Tony Awards for best play, for Shadowlands and The Retreat from Moscow.


His other screenplays include First Knight (1995) and Grey Owl (1999). He later worked as a writer on the Academy Award winning epic Gladiator (2000), and wrote and directed the 1997 film Firelight.


2000 turned out to be Nicholson's most impressive year to date, with acclaim for the "Best Picture" Oscar winner Gladiator. In 2007 Nicholson co-wrote the film Elizabeth: The Golden Age, from an earlier script by Michael Hirst.


Nicholson and his wife, Virginia, whom he married in 1988, have three children.