49 (passed away May. 11th, 2001)
Mar. 11th, 1952
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England, UK
Douglas Adams' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles
Ulverston Road Pepperpot
Born Douglas Noel Adams on March 11, 1952 in Cambridge. From 1959 until 1970 he went to Brentwood school in Essex, and his main interest was science. As a student in Cambridge he decided to hitch-hike through Europe to Istanbul, and in order to raise funds for this he took a lot of small jobs. In 1970 he left school to become a writer, certain that success was just around the corner. But nothing happened. He worked with the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman and John Lloyd (I), but hardly anything they did was published.
On February 4 1977 he met Simon Brett (I), who then was doing Radio 4's 'The Burkiss Way'. They agreed to produce a science fiction comedy show on radio. This was the birth of the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Douglas Adams married Jane Belson on November 24 1991 and they have a daughter by the name Polly Jane, born on June 22, 1994. They lived in Islington, but in 1999 they moved to California, USA. In 1997 Douglas signed a deal with Disney to make a feature movie, and he immediately started working on the screenplay. Jay Roach, of Austin Powers fame, was signed as director.
On the morning of May 11 2001, Adams went to the local gym to work out. There he suffered a massive heart attack and all attempts to revive him were unsuccessful. He died, and left his 6 year old daughter Polly, his wife Jane, his mother Jan Thrift, brother James and countless other family members and friends, not to mention thousands and thousands of fans all over the world, in shock and mourning.
Author of the hysterically funny series of books, summarized as "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", which also include a radio series, a TV series, stage play, record albums, computer game, graphic novels and a bath towel.
He also wrote the Dirk Gently novels and a non fiction book, "Last Chance to See", about endangered species. Apart from being a writer, he was also a chicken shed cleaner, bodyguard for an Arab royal family and he actually at one time played guitar for Pink Floyd (42nd birthday gift from David Gilmour (I), an old friend).
Douglas co-founded the company The Digital Village (now h2g2), producing nearly everything that has to do with media: TV, movies, computer games etc. He was one of the creators of Starship Titanic, a combined book (co-written with Terry Jones (I) of the Monty Python bunch) and computer game.
It was often claimed that P.G. Wodehouse had influence on him and his work, and when once asked about this he replied: "Yes, a huge impact. But not an early impact. I didn't start reading Wodehouse until I was writing 'Restaurant at the end of the universe'. I can see the impact starting almost immediately. I think that Wodehouse, without exaggeration, was a genius on the English language."
- Studied English Literature at Cambridge University. While at university, he was a member of the prestigious Cambridge University Footlights Club.
- Was an early pioneer in the personal computer explosion of the 1980s and 90s. For example, he owned the first two Apple Macintosh computers sold in the UK; was heavily involved in the development of first-person computer games (such as the computer version of "The Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy", "Bureaucracy" and "Starship Titanic"); and was an early adopter of the Internet. For several years, he was actively involved in the Internet newsgroup, alt.fan.douglas-adams, and would often personally answer messages in that forum. However, as the Internet became more popular, the questions became more and more repetitions of the same (or were offensive and/or insulting), and his personal responses became rare.
- One daughter, 'Polly Jane Rocket Adams' (qv).
- A founding member of the team that launched Comic Relief.
- The day before his death (10th May 2001) the Minor Planet Centre of the International Astronomical Union named asteroid 18610 "Arthurdent", after the character Arthur Dent in _"The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" (1981)_ (qv).
- Was left-handed and had a large collection of left-handed guitars.
- Died of an apparent heart attack on 11 May 2001; collapsed while working out in a gym.
- Claimed to have the initial idea for his work, _"The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" (1981)_ (qv), while lying drunk in a field holding a copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Europe.
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