Regarded for decades as one of the preeminent British scriptwriters, Clive Exton belonged to the generation that included Harold Pinter and Wilfred Owen, but distinguished himself with exemplary craftsmanship of brief plays on the British small screen. Exton's early efforts strove for realism; when he grew tired of that mode, he delved headfirst into ruthless, excoriating satire -- with such merciless bite that his primary target network, Associated British Corporation, rejected many an option -- only to watch silently as the BBC picked up the programs and turned them into runaway hits. In time, Exton segued into feature work, penning such critically lauded (and commercially lucrative) films as Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1970), 10 Rillington Place (1971), and The Bounty (1984). (A scriptwriting credit on the ludicrous Schwarzenegger vehicle Red Sonja represented a definitive, and wholly uncharacteristic, low point fir Exton.) In later years, Exton authored dozens of small-screen adaptations of Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse novels for U.K. television.