Ben Elton was a British comedian, actor, playwright, TV writer and novelist, whose idiosyncratic style of humor made him one of the biggest names on British TV in the '80s and '90s. A standup comic since his teens, Elton started his career in TV as a writer for such important British comedy shows as "Alfresco" (ITV, 1983-84) and "The Young Ones" (BBC Two, 1982-84), while still in his early 20s. His career then hit a high period in the mid-80s when he began what would eventually become a longtime writing collaboration with Richard Curtis on "Blackadder II" (BBC One, 1986), as well as the subsequent "Blackadder" shows, all of which starred the British comedy icon Rowan Atkinson. Elton's writing career continued throughout the decade, and by the late '90s he was writing for and hosting his very own successful British TV comedy show, known as "The Man from Auntie" (BBC1, 1990-94). In addition to his successful television career, Elton also wrote 12 novels, the first of which, 1989's Stark, sold over a million copies upon its release, and was turned into a TV miniseries of the same name. Furthermore, Elton was also an accomplished playwright, having written four award-winning plays that debuted on London's West End, as well as collaborating with Andrew Lloyd Weber on the hit musical "The Beautiful Game" in 2000. He may not be a household name in America, but since the early 1980s, Ben Elton rose to become one of the most influential British entertainers of his generation.