In 1956, at the age of 22, Alan Bates was cast in John Osborne's controversial play, Look Back in Anger. The play changed the course of British theatre - and of Alan's life. With a sudden rush of fame, he became a member of a new circle of actors at the Royal Court: the English Stage Company. From then on, he also worked steadily in television and won international acclaim for his roles in a number of major films, from A Kind of Loving and Zorba the Greek to Women in Love. But his personal life was not always as seemingly straightforward as his career - his relationships, including that with his wife, Victoria Ward, were often turbulent. Drawing on dozens of interviews with his family, lovers, colleagues and friends - and mining a rich store of primary research - Donald Spoto chronicles Alan's achievements as a performer against the backdrop of a complicated personal life.