Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  

William Seward Burroughs II ; also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997 was an American novelist, poet, essayist and spoken word performer. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who affected popular culture as well as literature. He is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the twentieth century."[1] Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. Burroughs also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

He was born to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studying English and anthropology, but after being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.S. Navy to serve in World War II, dropped out and spent the next twenty years working a variety of jobs. In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of what became the countercultural movement of the Beat Generation, while becoming involved in the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life.

Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, the South American Amazon and Tangier in Morocco. Finding success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a work wrought with controversy that underwent a court case under the sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–64). In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift," a reputation he owes to his "lifelong subversion"[1] of the moral, political and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War," while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius."

Burroughs had one child in 1947, William Seward Burroughs III, with his second wife Joan Vollmer, who died in 1951 in Mexico City after Burroughs accidentally shot her in the head while drunk, an event that deeply permeated all of his writings. Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas after suffering a heart attack in 1997.

Description above from the Wikipedia article William S. Burroughs, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  

William Seward Burroughs II ; also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, 1914 – August 2, 1997 was an American novelist, poet, essayist and spoken word performer. Burroughs was a primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author who affected popular culture as well as literature. He is considered to be "one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the twentieth century."[1] Burroughs wrote eighteen novels and novellas, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays. Five books have been published of his interviews and correspondences. Burroughs also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

He was born to a wealthy family in St. Louis, Missouri, grandson of the founder of the Burroughs Corporation, William Seward Burroughs I, and nephew of public relations manager Ivy Lee. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence. He left home in 1932 to attend Harvard University, studying English and anthropology, but after being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.S. Navy to serve in World War II, dropped out and spent the next twenty years working a variety of jobs. In 1943 while living in New York City, he befriended Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, the mutually influential foundation of what became the countercultural movement of the Beat Generation, while becoming involved in the drug addiction that affected him for the rest of his life.

Much of Burroughs's work is semi-autobiographical, primarily drawn from his experiences as a heroin addict, as he lived throughout Mexico City, London, Paris, Berlin, the South American Amazon and Tangier in Morocco. Finding success with his confessional first novel, Junkie (1953), Burroughs is perhaps best known for his third novel Naked Lunch (1959), a work wrought with controversy that underwent a court case under the sodomy laws. With Brion Gysin, he also popularized the literary cut-up technique in works such as The Nova Trilogy (1961–64). In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the "greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift," a reputation he owes to his "lifelong subversion"[1] of the moral, political and economic systems of modern American society, articulated in often darkly humorous sardonicism. J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be "the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War," while Norman Mailer declared him "the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius."

Burroughs had one child in 1947, William Seward Burroughs III, with his second wife Joan Vollmer, who died in 1951 in Mexico City after Burroughs accidentally shot her in the head while drunk, an event that deeply permeated all of his writings. Burroughs died at his home in Lawrence, Kansas after suffering a heart attack in 1997.

Description above from the Wikipedia article William S. Burroughs, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 48

Birthday 1914-02-05

Day of Death 1997-08-02

Place of Birth St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • -

Acting TV ShowsMovies

2015 William S. Burroughs: The Possessed
2011 Fix: The Ministry Movie as Himself
2010 William S. Burroughs: A Man Within as Himself
2009 FLicKeR as Himself
2008 Obscene: A Portrait of Barney Rosset and Grove Press as Himself
2007 Words of Advice: William S. Burroughs On the Road
2006 Wanderlust as Tom the Priest
2000 Condo Painting
1999 Let It Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles as Himself
1998 Destroy All Rational Thought as himself
1994 Ah Pook Is Here. as Narrator
1994 Glitterbug as Himself
1994 Relics: Einstein's Brain as Himself
1993 The Junky's Christmas as Narrator
1992 Naked Making Lunch as Himself
1991 Wax, or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees as James "Hive" Maker
1991 William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers as Himself
1991 Thanksgiving Prayer as A Speaker
1989 Bloodhounds of Broadway as Butler
1989 Drugstore Cowboy as Tom the Priest
1989 Twister as Man in Barn
1986 Home of the Brave as Himself
1985 Ornette: Made in America as Himself
1984 Decoder as Old Man
1983 Burroughs: The Movie as Himself
1983 Pirate Tape
1983 The Dream Machine
1982 Ghost at No. 9
1981 Energy and How to Get It
1981 Shamans of the Blind Country as Narrator
1981 Chelsea Hotel
1979 Fried Shoes Cooked Diamonds as Himself
1978 Thot-Fal'N as Himself
1976 Underground and Emigrants
1975 Saturday Night Live(1 episode)
1972 Bill and Tony as Himself
1969 Cain's Film
1968 Häxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages as Narrator
1967 Chappaqua as Opium Jones
1966 The Cut Ups
1963 William Buys a Parrot as Himself
1963 Towers Open Fire

Writing

2008 The Japanese SandmanWriter
1993 The Junky's ChristmasNovel
1991 Naked LunchNovel
1991 Thanksgiving PrayerWriter
1990 The Black Rider: The Casting of the Magic BulletsBook
1989 Drugstore CowboyScreenplay
1982 The Discipline of D.E.Story
1982 Taking Tiger MountainWriter
1982 Ghost at No. 9Writer
1970 Ice CreamWriter
1968 Häxan: Witchcraft Through The AgesWriter
1966 The Cut UpsStory
1963 Towers Open FireWriter

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