The screenwriter Troy Kennedy Martin was born on February 15th 1932.
It’s usually the actors who get the glory and the in general the posts celebrating their contribution, but where would they be without the relatively unknown and overlooked writers like Kennedy Martin? Mention Z Cars, The Italian Job and Edge of Darkness and you will have three very well known pieces written by this Rothesay born man, yet in a career spanning six decades, these iconic works represent only the tip of an iceberg, with much of his television work unknown or lost and many scripts, for film and TV, unproduced.
Add Kelly’s Heroes starring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas and Donald Sutherland in 1970, then Red Heat with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi it shows the scope of his writing.
He also wrote episodes of the very popular 70’s cop show the Sweeney, incidentally created by his brother Ian Kennedy Martin, and one of my favourite 80’s mini-series Reilly, Ace of Spies, dramatizing the true life of Sidney Reilly, a Russian Jew who became one of the greatest spies ever.
Another true story he wrote the screenplay for was that of former SAS Andy McNab in Bravo Two Zero, made into a mini-series in 1999.
Kennedy Martin died of liver cancer on 15 September 2009, aged 77.