Famous People

Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo in the West of Ireland

Bill Naughton (1910-1992)

The playwright Bill Naughton was born in Ballyhaunis in 1910. He is best remembered for a number of working class comedies he wrote in the 1960's, especially 'Alfie' in 1963 and which was made into a film in 1966.

When Naughton was a child, his family moved from Ireland to Bolton, Lancashire, England, where he later worked as a weaver, truck driver, and coal bagger. 'A Roof over Your Head' (1945), a semiautobiographical study of life in northern England in the 1920s, was followed by several moderately successful novels and short-story collections. In the 1950s he moved to London to write for the humour magazine Lilliput and for radio and television.

Naughton drew acclaim for his first three plays: Alfie (which was based on his 1962 radio play Alfie Elkins and His Little Life), All in Good Time (1963; filmed as The Family Way, 1966), and Spring and Port Wine (1967; a revision of his earlier play My Flesh, My Blood; also published as Keep It in the Family; filmed 1970).