Tom Stoppard's first full-length play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, was staged by the National Theatre in 1967. Other award-winning work includes Jumpers, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Travesties, Night and Day, The Real Thing, Hapgood, Arcadia, Indian Ink, The Invention of Love, The Coast of Utopia, Rock 'N' Roll, The Hard Problem and Leopoldstadt. Stage adaptations and translations including Undiscovered Country (Schnitzler), On the Razzle (Nestroy), Rough Crossing (Molnar), The Seagull (Chekhov), Henry IV (Pirandello), Heroes (Sibleyras), Ivanov (Chekhov) and The Cherry Orchard (Chekhov).

His screenplays include Brazil, Empire of the Sun, Enigma and Shakespeare in Love (Academy Award) for Best Original Screenplay). He directed the 1990 film Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, for which he won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. He received a knighthood in 1997 and in 2000 was awarded the Order of Merit.