Born: 19 February 1959
Birthplace: Morley, Yorkshire, England
Best known as: The author of Bridget Jones's Diary
English writer Helen Fielding is the author of the novel Bridget Jones's Diary, a late 1990s U.K. and U.S. sensation that ushered in a new wave of "chick lit" novels and spawned two movies starring Renée Zellweger and Hugh Grant. Fielding studied English at Oxford and worked in television before writing her first novel, Cause Celeb (1994). After its publication she worked as a freelance journalist until landing a regular column in The Independent and, later, the Daily Telegraph (1995-96). For her column she created "Bridget Jones," a sarcastic, 30-something Londoner worried about her career, her tobacco and alcohol intake, her love life and the size of her behind. Fielding took the popular column, added a plot taken from Jane Austen and made a novel. A modest success in the U.K., the very-English Bridget Jones's Diary became a huge hit after its 1998 U.S. release. Fielding has since published a sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (1999), and another novel, Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination (2004).
Extra credit: The film version of Bridget Jones's Diary was released in 2001, and its sequel was released in 2004. Both starred Zellweger, Grant and Colin Firth (as Mark Darcy, a character based loosely on Jane Austen's Fitzwilliam Darcy).
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