Today, May 12th, would have been Leslie Charteris’ 101st birthday. Charteris was born in Singapore on May 12, 1907 as Leslie Charles Bowyer Yin.
Charteris was born to a Chinese father and an English mother. His father was a physician who claimed to be able to trace his lineage back to the emperors of the Shang Dynasty. Charteris became interested in writing at an early age, at one point creating his own magazine with articles, short stories, poetry, editorials, serials, and even a comic strip.
2008 is shaping up to be a great year for Leslie Charteris. Eighty years ago Charteris wrote and published the first of many stories about Simon Templar, alias The Saint. The Saint has appeared in various media, and it seems that this 80th anniversary of his creation is the one that people are latching on to — rather than last year’s centenary of the author, which pretty much everyone missed anyway.
The 80th anniversay plans include a new 2-hour TV pilot starring James Purefoy, re-releases of Charteris’ books, some new audio CDs, and additional DVD releases around the world.