Allan, Ted

 Ted Allan, playwright, actor, screenwriter, novelist, biographer (b at Montréal, 25 Jan 1916; d at Toronto 29 Jun 1995). Born Alan Herman, Ted Allan grew up in Montréal and left high school to supplement the family income. A dedicated Young Communist, he was a correspondent for the Toronto Daily Worker and he served in the International Brigade in the Spanish Civil War (seeSOLDIERS OF FORTUNE). His first novel, This Time a Better Earth (1939), draws on the writer's experiences in the war. His later novel, Love Is a Long Shot (1984), which won the Stephen LEACOCK Award, is a humourous and autobiographical portrait of a teenage socialist. Ted Allan's best-known book is The Scalpel, the Sword: The Story of Doctor Norman Bethune (1952), written in collaboration with Sydney Gordon. This heroic and romantic biography, an international best-seller, enthusiastically portrays BETHUNE's personality, though its lack of documentation diminishes its value as a historical text.

Ted Allan wrote hundreds of radio and television scripts broadcast in Britain and Canada. He is also the author of several plays, including the long-running Double Image (1957) and My Sister's Keeper (1974). His screenplay Lies My Father Told Me (1975) began as a short story and was nominated for an Academy Award. The film became an international success both commercially and critically. Allan was involved in the creation of many other screenplays, including that of the 1990 film Bethune: The Making of a Hero, starring Donald SUTHERLAND.

Ted Allan is the subject of the 2002 NATIONAL FILM BOARD documentary Ted Allan: Minstrel Boy of the Twentieth Century.