Laurence Olivier

Actor, Film actor

1907 – 1989

71

Who was Laurence Olivier?

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM was an English actor, director, and producer. Olivier is generally considered to have been one of the greatest actors of the 20th century.

During a six-decade career, Olivier played many roles on stage and screen. His three Shakespeare films as actor-director, Henry V, Hamlet, and Richard III, are among the pinnacles of the bard at the cinema. On stage his more than 120 roles included Richard III, Macbeth, Romeo, Hamlet, Uncle Vanya, and Archie Rice in The Entertainer. He appeared in nearly sixty films, including William Wyler's Wuthering Heights and Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca. He was the founding artistic director of the National Theatre Company in 1963, a post in which he remained for a decade. He had earlier filled the same post at the Old Vic after the Second World War. The largest stage in the National Theatre building was later named after him.

Olivier retired from the stage in 1974, but his work on-screen continued until the year before his death in 1989. For television, he starred in Long Day's Journey into Night, The Merchant of Venice, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Brideshead Revisited, and King Lear, among others. His later films for cinema included Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Sleuth and John Schlesinger's Marathon Man.

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Born
May 22, 1907
Dorking
Also known as
  • Laurence Kerr Olivier
  • Sir Laurence Olivier
  • Larry
  • Lieut. Laurence Olivier
  • Sir Lawrence Olivier
  • Lord Olivier
  • Kim
  • The Lord Olivier
  • Baron Olivier
  • Sir Laurence Kerr Olivier
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Religion
  • Agnosticism
Ethnicity
  • English people
Nationality
  • United Kingdom
Profession
Education
  • Central School of Speech and Drama
Died
Jul 11, 1989
Ashurst
Resting place
Poets' Corner

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Laurence Olivier." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 12 Aug. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/laurence_olivier>.

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