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Laurence Olivier - JPop.com
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Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier


Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (pron.: /ˈlɒrəns ɵˈlɪvi.eɪ/; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was a British actor, director, and producer. An Anglican clergyman's son, Olivier became determined early on to master Shakespeare, and eventually came to be regarded as one of the foremost Shakespeare interpreters of the 20th century. His three Shakespeare films as actor-director, Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948), and Richard III (1955), are among the pinnacles of the bard at the cinema. Read more on Last.fm
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (pron.: /ˈlɒrəns ɵˈlɪvi.eɪ/; 22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was a British actor, director, and producer. An Anglican clergyman's son, Olivier became determined early on to master Shakespeare, and eventually came to be regarded as one of the foremost Shakespeare interpreters of the 20th century. His three Shakespeare films as actor-director, Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948), and Richard III (1955), are among the pinnacles of the bard at the cinema. Olivier was the youngest actor to be knighted as a Knight Bachelor, in 1947, and the first to be elevated to the peerage two decades later. In addition to Shakespeare, during a six decade career, Olivier played many other roles on stage and screen.

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 60 films, including William Wyler's Wuthering Heights (1939), Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940), Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960), and Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Sleuth (1972). His other Shakespeare roles for the cinema were as Orlando in As You Like It (1936) and the lead in Othello (1965), with virtually the entire cast from the production at the Old Vic of the National Theatre Company, of which he was then artistic director.

He had earlier filled the same post at the Old Vic after the war. The largest stage in the National Theatre building was later named after him. Olivier retired from the stage in 1973, but his work on screen continued. For television, he starred in Long Day's Journey into Night (1973), The Merchant of Venice (1973), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976), Brideshead Revisited (1981), and King Lear (1983), among others. The later cinema films included John Schlesinger's Marathon Man (1976) and Richard Attenborough's A Bridge Too Far (1977).

Continuing to act until the year before his death in 1989, he was married three times, to actresses Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh, and Joan Plowright. Actor Spencer Tracy stated that Olivier was "the greatest actor in the English-speaking world". He is regarded by some to be the greatest actor of the 20th century, in the same category as David Garrick, Richard Burbage, Edmund Kean and Henry Irving in their own centuries. Olivier's AMPAS acknowledgments are considerable: twelve Oscar nominations, with two awards (for Best Actor and Best Picture for the 1948 film Hamlet), plus two honorary awards including a statuette and certificate. He was also awarded five Emmy awards from the nine nominations he received.

Additionally, he was a three-time Golden Globe and BAFTA winner. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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