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Laurence Olivier

Mostly Credited As: Laurence Olivier
Sometimes Credited As: Sir Laurence Olivier
Sir Lawrence Olivier
Lord Olivier

Birth Name: Laurence Kerr Olivier
Date Of Birth: May 22, 1907 (Age 82)
Country Of Birth: United Kingdom
Birth Place: Dorking, Surrey, England
Date Of Death: July 11, 1989
Cause Of Death: Comp. from a muscle disorder (Steyning, England)
Height: 5' 10" (1.77 m)

Laurence Olivier


The man, the influence, the actor who many consider to be the greatest in the English-speaking world during the twentieth century. Though Sir Laurence Olivier was based mostly in England, he made a significant number of Hollywood films. He was nominated for Academy Awards as either an actor, producer or director twelve times, winning twice, while also being honored with two special Oscars. In his long and versatile career, Olivier appeared in more than 120 stage roles, nearly 60 films and more than 15 television productions.

The son of a clergyman, he was well educated, and introduced to the arts at an early age. He made his acting debut at the age of fifteen at the all-boys, All Saints Choir School. He continued playing Shakespearean and other classical roles while in training. Olivier's next big step was joining The Birmingham Repertory company in 1926. He had also acted on Broadway and was recognized by the American film industry. He had his chance at early Hollywood stardom when he played the lead in Yellow Ticket. By the time he made Fire Over England, he was a hot commodity, made even hotter by his well-publicized affair with his costar, the beautiful and talented Vivien Leigh. Tongues wagged wilder than usual because both Olivier and Leigh were married to other people at the time. They later freed themselves in order to marry each other, a union that lasted for more than 20 years.

As a sought after actor, Olivier heeded the call to Hollywood again and was considerably more successful. He starred as "Heathcliff" in the scintillating romance, Wuthering Heights (1939), and became an international matinee idol. He followed that hit with several others, including Rebecca and That Hamilton Woman. Olivier's most productive period came from directing and producing. He did this, while also starring in Henry V (1944) and Hamlet (1948). He won Best Film and Best Actor awards for Hamlet from the Academy. No matter what country has produced his films, Olivier remains an international star whose talent belongs to all nations.

Burdened by ill health for more than a decade, Olivier fought cancer and other ailments while working at a furious pace. He was knighted in 1947, and in 1970 he was made "Baron Olivier of Brighton," for services to the theater, which allowed him to sit in the House of the Lords. If that wasn't enough, in 1981 he was given the Order of Merit. In America, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestowed its version of knighthood on "Lord Larry," awarding him a special Oscar "for the full body of his work, the unique achievement of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film.

Sir Laurence passed away on July 11, 1989 after long suffering due to complications from a muscle disorder.

Movie Credits

Wild Geese II (1985) - Rudolf Hess
The Bounty (1984) - Admiral Hood
King Lear (1983) (TV) - King Lear
The Jigsaw Man (1983) - Adm. Sir Gerald Scaith
Clash of the Titans (1981) - Zeus
Inchon (1981) - Gen. Douglas MacArthur
The Jazz Singer (1980) - Cantor Rabinovitch
Dracula (1979) - Prof. Abraham Van Helsing
A Little Romance (1979) - Julius
The Boys from Brazil (1978) - Ezra Lieberman
The Betsy (1978) - Loren Hardeman
A Bridge Too Far (1977) - Dr. Jan Spaander
"Jesus of Nazareth" (1977) (mini) - Nicodemus
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976) (TV) - Big Daddy
The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1976) - Professor James Moriarty
Marathon Man (1976) - Dr. Christian 'The White Angel' Szell - Christopher Hess
The Merchant of Venice (1973) (TV) - Shylock
David Copperfield (1969) (TV) - Mr. Creakle
Battle of Britain (1969) - Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) - Field Marshal Sir John French
The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968) (as Sir Laurence Olivier) - Piotr Ilyich Kamenev
Khartoum (1966) - The Mahdi
Othello (1965) - Othello
Uncle Vanya (1963) - Dr. Astrov
Term of Trial (1962) - Graham Weir
Spartacus (1960) - Marcus Licinius Crassus
The Entertainer (1960) - Archie Rice
The Devil's Disciple (1959) - Gen. John Burgoyne
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957) - Charles, the Prince Regent
Richard III (1955) - Richard III
The Beggar's Opera (1953) - Captain MacHeath
Carrie (1952) - George Hurstwood
Hamlet (1948) - Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Henry V (1944) - King Henry V
The Demi-Paradise (1943) - Ivan Kouznetsoff
49th Parallel (1941) - Johnnie, the Trapper
That Hamilton Woman (1941) - Lord Horatio Nelson
Pride and Prejudice (1940) - Mr. Darcy
Conquest of the Air (1940) - Vincent Lunardi
Rebecca (1940) - George Fortescu Maximillian 'Maxim' de Winter
21 Days (1940) - Larry Durrant
Wuthering Heights (1939) - Heathcliff
The Divorce of Lady X (1938) - Everard Logan
Fire Over England (1937) - Michael Ingolby

... and many others.




TV Appearances

Main cast 
Lost Empires (1986)As: Harry Burrard
Brideshead Revisited (1981)As: Lord Marchmain
Jesus of Nazareth (1977)As: Nicodemus
The World at War (1973)As: Narrator -- [Voice]
The Academy Awards (1953)As: Himself (Co-Host 1959)
Episode Cast Credits 

The Academy Awards (1953) 
  The 57th Annual Academy Awards 33x01: (Mar/25/1985) As Presenter, [Featuring]
  The 51st Annual Academy Awards 27x01: (Apr/09/1979) As Winner: Academy Honorary Award 
  The 35th Annual Academy Awards 11x01: (Apr/08/1963) As Himself (pre-recorded), [Featuring]

The Emmy Awards (1949) 
  The 36th Annual Emmy Awards 36x01: (Sep/23/1984) As Winner: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special (for 'King Lear') 
  The 34th Annual Emmy Awards 34x01: (Sep/19/1982) As Winner: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special (for 'Brideshead Revisited') 
  The 27th Annual Emmy Awards 27x01: (May/19/1975) As Winner: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Special Program - Drama or Comedy (for 'Love Among the Ruins') 
  The 25th Annual Emmy Awards 25x01: (May/20/1973) As Winner: Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (for 'Long Days Journey into Night') 

The Golden Globes (1944) 
  The 6th Annual Golden Globe Awards 06x01: (Mar/16/1949) As Winner: Best Actor in a Leading Role (for 'Hamlet') 
  The 34th Annual Golden Globe Awards 34x01: (Jan/29/1977) As Winner: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (for 'Marathon Man') 

ABC Stage 67 (1966) 
  David Frost's Night Out in London 01x18: (Feb/02/1967) As Himself 

The Ed Sullivan Show (1948) 
  Samuel Goldwyn Story, Part 1 06x13: (Dec/07/1952) As Himself 
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Trivia

Laurence's Star on the Walk of Fame for his many contributions to the Motion Picture industry is located at 6321 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA.

In 1948, Laurence won the Golden Lion for: Hamlet (1948) at the Venice Film Festival.

In 1981, Laurence won the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor for: The Jazz Singer (1980).

In 1983, Laurence won the Razzie Award for Worst Actor for: Inchon (1981).

In 1946, Laurence won the NYFCC Award for Best Actor for: The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France (1944).

In 1948, Laurence won the NYFCC Award for Best Actor for: Hamlet (1948).

In 1973, Laurence won the NYFCC Award for Best Actor for: Sleuth (1972).

In 1946, Laurence won the NBR Award for Best Actor for: The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France (1944).

In 1978, Laurence won the NBR Award for Best Actor for: The Boys from Brazil (1978).

In 1949, Laurence won the Kinema Junpo Award for Best Foreign Language Film for: The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fift with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France (1944).

More Trivia
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