In tribute to the late Reg Gadney, the television scriptwriter and author, whose works include the scripts for Last Love and the award-winning Kennedy, as well as eleven novels including The Achilles Heel, Just When We Are Safest and Strange Police. Here are some words from English playwright David Hare and Faber’s senior editor Walter Donohue on the writer and artist.
Reg Gadney, who died on 1 May, two days before the publication of his final book about Einstein, was beloved at Faber as a thriller writer. But this was only one of his many careers. Reg was a soldier, a painter, a television screenwriter, a collector – at one point he owned every first edition of his hero Graham Greene – a teacher and an administrator. He was even Pro-Rector of the Royal College of Art. Above all he was an incomparable companion – witty, generous and loyal. I think he made me laugh more than anyone I ever knew.
When someone like Reg Gadney passes away, when such a life force is extinguished, it diminishes the rest of us. His wide range of experience was joined with a wit and a grace that was manifest in his creative endeavours – especially in his writing and painting. His penetrating intelligence was the quality that most distinguished the series of the Alan Rosslyn thrillers he wrote for Faber over the course of a decade. No obituary can scarce contain the polymath that he was. But such a man remains legible in his inimitable writing.
Photo: Astrid Schulz