Laurence Olivier

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The Lord Olivier
BirthplaceDorking, Surrey, England, UK
Actor, director, producer, screenwriter

Olivier, Laurence


Born May 22, 1907, in Dorking, Surrey. British actor and director.

Olivier graduated from the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, where he studied under E. Fogerty. He made his first appearance at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1922 as Katharina in The Taming of the Shrew. From 1926 to 1928, Olivier was with the Birmingham Repertory company; he later performed at various theaters in London and New York. In 1929 he began to act in films.

Olivier has worked both as a stage director and a managing director of the Old Vic Theatre (1944–49, with R. Richardson and J. Burrell), St. James’s Theatre (1951–52), the Chichester Festival Theatre (1962–63), and the National Theatre (1963–73).

Olivier is one of the greatest Shakespearean actors. He has played the title roles in Hamlet, Richard III, Henry V, Titus Andronicus, Coriolanus, and Othello. His other roles have included Oedipus in Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, Astrov in Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, and Archie Rice in Osborne’s The Entertainer. Olivier’s heroes are courageous, strong-willed, rebellious people, full of strength and passion. Aloof from an overconcern with self-analysis, Olivier emphasizes the primacy of reason and a sense of reality.


Darlington, W. A. Laurence Olivier. [London, 1968.]


References in periodicals archive ?
Laurence Olivier is under attack at the Rep in The Silver Box in 1927, while (below) Julie Christie performs in the 1963 Christmas Revue Between These Four Walls
Rival musical composer Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Phantom of the Opera' sequel 'Love Never Dies' is leading the Laurence Olivier nominations, with seven nods.
GOING DENTAL: Laurence Olivier drills Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man
But this association has eclipsed a long career of radio, TV, stage and screen work with luminaries stretching from Laurel and Hardy to Harrison Ford via Laurence Olivier.
Terry Coleman's new biography of the legendary Laurence Olivier portrays him as more of a heterosexual than previous books have, but his life remains fascinating.
A partial list of images would include Laurence Olivier as Hamlet, Manhattan absent Central Park, a hand holding some gems, birds in flight, and a flip-book in the final pages whose subject matter should not be disclosed.
He described the awesome moment when he won his Laurence Olivier Award as Best Actor in a Musical, and the amazing welcome he got in the States as winner of this most coveted award.
The principal focus in the chapters on the eighteenth through twentieth centuries is on the acting styles and notable performances of such major actors and actresses as David Garrick, Sarah Siddons, Edmund Kean, the Booths, Henry Irving and his leading lady Ellen Terry, and Laurence Olivier.
A LAURENCE OLIVIER took the acting honours in 1949 for Hamlet with Roberto Benigni repeating the feat in 1999 in La Vita e Bella (Life Is Beautiful).
In the television version of Brideshead, with Laurence Olivier as Lord Marchmain, this scene was powerfully effective.
He has made works for The Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, and Dutch National Ballet, including Fearful Symmetries, which won the 1995 Laurence Olivier Award for best new dance production, and the controversial This House Will Burn.