Winner 1999

ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre:  Lost for Words

A Yorkshire Television Production, WGBH-TV, Boston

Unique in our youth-obsessed culture, this deceptively simple drama focuses on the declining health of an older woman and the unconditional love shown by her only son based, on the true story of author Deric Longden. Despite a series of strokes and her growing suspicions of gremlins invading her house, Mrs. Longden determinedly tries to maintain her independence. Mother is played with affecting accuracy by Dame Thora Hird, whose career now spans seven decades. As Deric (or “Jessie,” as his mother calls him following an incapacitating stroke), Pete Postlethwaite is typically understated, affecting and simply brilliant. Together, Hird and Postlethwaite portray a devoted relationship in the process of winding down toward life’s inevitable end. Credit goes to Yorkshire Television and ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre for once again crafting powerful television, this time on a small scale. To two extraordinary actors, writer Deric Longden, series executive producer Rebecca Eaton, executive producers Keith Richardson and Margaret Matheson, producer Sita Williams and director Alan J. Bell, a Peabody Award for celebrating the greatest love of all: that of a child for his mother.