Alan Sharp was born on January 12, 1934 in Alyth, Tayside, Scotland to a single mother. He was adopted at 6 weeks by Margaret and Joseph Sharp, who belonged to a local Salvation Army church. His adoptive father was a dockworker. He was an apprentice in local shipyards; worked as assistant to a private detective, an English teacher in Germany, construction laborer, dishwasher, night switchboard operator for a burglar alarm firm, and a packer for a carpet company; worked for I.B.M.; bummed around as a writer. He served in the military service with the British National Service, 1952-54.
His first five scripts were filmed in quick succession: the thriller “The Last Run,” with George C. Scott and “The Hired Hand” (both 1971), “Ulzana’s Raid” (1972), the Euro-western “Billy Two Hats,” (1974) another western, with Gregory Peck; and “Night Moves” (1975). He also wrote screenplays for “The Osterman Weekend” (1983), an adaptation of a Robert Ludlum novel, which was directed by Sam Peckinpah; “Little Treasure” (1985), starring Margot Kidder, which Mr. Sharp also directed; and the 1995 film “Rob Roy,” a historical adventure starring Liam Neeson.
Since the 1980s, most of Sharp's screenplays had been for American television productions. His 1993 television screenplay (with Walter Klenhard) for ‘The Last Hit’ was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award (best TV feature or miniseries). His feature film projects included “The Osterman Weekend” (Sam Peckinpah's swan song-1982), “Rob Roy” (1995), and “Dean Spanley” (2008). Quentin Curtis called the screenplay for Rob Roy "one of the best screenplays in the last decade".
Alan Sharp died on February 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Today we remember Alan Sharp on what would have been his 80th birthday.