Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier

  • Born on
    • May 22nd, 1907
  • Died on
    • July 11th, 1989
Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor and director who, along with his contemporaries Ralph Richardson, Peggy Ashcroft and John Gielgud, dominated the British stage of the mid-20th century. He also worked in films throughout his career, playing more than fifty cinema roles. Late in his career, he had considerable success in television roles. His family had no theatrical connections, but Olivier's father, a clergyman, decided that his son should become an actor. After attending a drama school in London, Olivier learned his craft in a succession of acting jobs during the late 1920s. In 1930 he had his first important West End success in Noël Coward's Private Lives, and he appeared in his first film. In 1935 he played in a celebrated production of Romeo and Juliet alongside Gielgud and Ashcroft, and by the end of the decade he was an established star. In the 1940s, together with Richardson and John Burrell, Olivier was the co-director of the Old Vic, building it into a highly respected company. There his most celebrated roles included Shakespeare's Richard III and Sophocles's Oedipus. In the 1950s Olivier was an independent actor-manager, but his stage career was in the doldrums until he joined the avant garde English Stage Company in 1957 to play the title role in The Entertainer, a part he later played on film. From 1963 to 1973 he was the founding director of Britain's National Theatre, running a resident company that fostered many future stars. His own parts there included the title role in Othello (1965) and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1970). Among Olivier's films are Wuthering Heights (1939), Rebecca (1940), and a trilogy of Shakespeare films as actor-director: Henry V (1944), Hamlet (1948), and Richard III (1955). His later films included The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), Sleuth (1972), Marathon Man (1976), and The Boys from Brazil (1978). His television appearances included an adaptation of The Moon and Sixpence (1960), Long Day's Journey into Night (1973), Love Among the Ruins (1975), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1976), Brideshead Revisited (1981) and King Lear (1983). Olivier's honours included a knighthood (1947), a life peerage (1970) and the Order of Merit (1981). For his on-screen work he received four Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, five Emmy Awards and three Golden Globe Awards. The National Theatre's largest auditorium is named in his honour, and he is commemorated in the Laurence Olivier Awards, given annually by the Society of London Theatre. He was married three times, to the actresses Jill Esmond from 1930 to 1940, Vivien Leigh from 1940 to 1960, and Joan Plowright from 1961 until his death. Description above from the Wikipedia article Laurence Olivier, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.

Starring Laurence Olivier on Plex


Acting (58 Credits)

2018Tea With the Dames as (archival footage)
2014And the Oscar Goes To...
2004Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as Dr. TotenkopfWatch Free
2000The Filth and the Fury as Richard III (archive footage)
1989War Requiem as The Old Soldier
1988The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind as (archive footage)
1986Peter the Great as King William III of Orange
1985Wild Geese II as Rudolf Hess
1984The Bounty as Admiral Hood
1984Terror in the Aisles as Szell (archive footage) (uncredited)
1984The Last Days of Pompeii as Gaius
1983King Lear as King Lear
1983The Jigsaw Man as Adm. Sir Gerald Scaith
1981Inchon as Gen. Douglas MacArthur
1981Clash of the Titans as Zeus
1981Brideshead Revisited as Alexander Flyte, Lord MarchmainWatch Free
1980The Jazz Singer as Cantor Rabinovitch
1979A Little Romance as Julius
1979Dracula as Prof. Abraham Van Helsing
1978The Betsy as Loren Hardeman
1978The Boys from Brazil as Ezra Lieberman
1977A Bridge Too Far as Dr. Jan Spaander
1977Jesus of Nazareth as NicodemusWatch Free
1976Marathon Man as Christian Szell
1976The Seven-Per-Cent Solution as Professor James Moriarty
1975Love Among the Ruins as Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones
1973The World at War as Narrator
1972Sleuth as Andrew Wyke
1971Nicholas and Alexandra as Count Witte
1969Oh! What a Lovely War as Field Marshal Sir John French
1969The Battle of Britain as Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding
1968The Shoes of the Fisherman as Piotr Ilyich Kamenev
1968Romeo and Juliet as Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
1966Khartoum as Mahdi
1965Bunny Lake Is Missing as Supt. Newhouse
1965Othello as Othello
1962Term of Trial as Graham Weir
1960The Entertainer as Archie Rice
1960Spartacus as Marcus Licinius Crassus
1959The Devil's Disciple as Gen. Burgoyne
1957The Prince and the Showgirl as The Regent
1955Richard III as Richard III
1952Carrie as George Hurstwood
1951The Magic Box as Police Constable 94-B
1948Hamlet as Hamlet - Prince of Denmark / Voice of Ghost
1944Henry V as King Henry
1944This Happy Breed as Narrator (voice)
1941That Hamilton Woman as Lord Horatio Nelson
194149th Parallel as Johnnie, the Trapper
1940Rebecca as 'Maxim' de Winter
1940Pride and Prejudice as Mr. Darcy
194021 Days Together as Larry Durrant
1939Clouds Over Europe as Tony McVane
1939Wuthering Heights as Heathcliff
1938The Divorce of Lady X as Everard Logan
1937Fire Over England as Michael Ingolby
1936As You Like It as Orlando
1933Perfect Understanding as Nicholas Randall

Writer (1 Credits)


Himself (1 Credits)

2010Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff as Himself (archive footage)


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