Gordon Stanley Ostlere
15 September 1921
|Died||11 August 2017(aged 95)|
|Known for||Doctor series of novels|
Richard Gordon (born Gordon Stanley Benton, 15 September 1921 - 11 August 2017 and also known Gordon Stanley Ostlere), was an English surgeon and anaesthetist. As Richard Gordon, Ostlere wrote numerous novels, screenplays for film and television and accounts of popular history, mostly dealing with the practice of medicine. He was best known for a long series of comic novels on a medical theme beginning with Doctor in the House, and the subsequent film, television, radio and stage adaptations. His The Alarming History of Medicine was published in 1993, and he followed this with The Alarming History of Sex.
Gordon was born in Paddington, London. He studied at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and worked as an anaesthetist at St. Bartholomew's Hospital (where he had been a medical student) and later as a ship's surgeon and as assistant editor of the British Medical Journal. He published several technical books under his own name, including Anaesthetics for Medical Students (1949), later published as Ostlere and Bryce-Smith's Anaesthetics for Medical Students in 1989; Anaesthetics and the Patient (1949), and Trichlorethylene Anaesthesia (1953). He left medical practice in 1952, and took up writing full-time. The early Doctor novels, set in the fictitious St. Swithin's, a teaching hospital in London, were witty and apparently autobiographical; later books included more sexual innuendo and farce. The novels were successful in Britain in Penguin paperback during the 1960s and 1970s. Gordon also contributed articles to Punch magazine, and published books on medicine, gardening, fishing and cricket.
The film adaptation of Doctor in the House (1954) was released two years after the book's publication. He had an uncredited role as an anaesthetist in the film. Doctor at Sea came out the following year, with Brigitte Bardot in the cast. Dirk Bogarde starred as Dr. Simon Sparrow in both. The later spin-off TV series were written by British comedy writers. In 1974, he walked off the set of This is Your Life when Eamonn Andrews appeared with the red book. He later changed his mind and the show was transmitted a week later.