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|Also Known As:||Tom Mangan||Died:|
|Born:||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Profession:||Producer ...|
Celebrated crime writer Lynda La Plante created some of the most compelling female characters in the genre, including the formidable Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the "Prime Suspect" (ITV, 1991-2006) series, and the equally dogged Anna Travis in "Above Suspicion" (ITV, 2009-2012), which was based on her best-selling novels. Born Lynda Titchmarsh in Liverpool, England and raised in the town of Crosby, she initially wanted to become an actress, and pursued it as a career after receiving a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art at the age of 16. After adopting the stage name Lynda Marchel, La Plante began performing on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and as a guest performer on television series like "Z Cars" (BBC, 1962-1978) and "Rentaghost" (BBC, 1976-1984). Dismayed by the quality of scripts she was receiving, La Plante decided to pen her own television project, which resulted in the six-part "Widows" (ITV, 1983), a crime drama about a quartet of widows who carry out a robbery planned by their deceased husbands. A huge ratings hit, the success of "Widows" spurred La Plante to try her hand at crime fiction. Her debut novel, The Legacy (1987), was an immediate international success, and was quickly followed by three more best-selling books. In 1990, La Plante returned to television with "Prime Suspect," an engrossing police drama concerning a tough female detective (Helen Mirren) who must contend with sexism in her station and personal issues, including alcoholism, in addition to several gruesome crimes. The first serial was followed by six more between 1991 and 2006, and earned La Plante an Emmy nomination, several BAFTA Awards and an Edgar for Best TV Feature. The success of "Prime Suspect" spurred La Plante to launch her own television production company, through which she wrote and produced television series on both sides of the Atlantic, including "The Governor" (ITV, 1995-1996); "The Prosecutors" (NBC, 1996), which she co-wrote with Tom Fontana, creator of "Homicide: Life on the Street" (NBC, 1993-1999); the long-running "Trial & Retribution" (ITV, 1997-2009); and "Framed" (TNT, 2002). While working on these and other project, La Plante also found time to begin a new series of crime novels, the "Cold" series, about a disgraced police lieutenant who becomes a private investigator. A third series, about female police detective Anna Travis, was launched in 2004 with the publication of Above Suspicion; again, the series proved immensely popular and spawned a television adaptation, also titled "Above Suspicion." For her exceptional body of fiction and television work, La Plante was honored with numerous awards, most notably appointment as a Commander of the British Empire in 2008. In 2015, Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn announced that they were adapting "Widows" into a feature film.
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