Laurence Olivier

(redirected from Lord Olivier)
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The Lord Olivier
BirthplaceDorking, Surrey, England, UK
Actor, director, producer, screenwriter
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"Beforehand Lord Olivier wrote to me saying 'It occurred to me that you might be wondering how to address me when we meet.
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OWNER Robert Sangster scoops another pot at Ayr with the Chapple-Hyam- trained Fyfield Flyer (D Holland), who canters home in the Rosebery from Willie Jarvis' Lord Olivier (M Tebbutt).
YARMOUTH: 2.25 Salsette, 2.55 Moonlight, 3.30 Lord Olivier, 4.05 Nosey Native, 4.35 Light Step, 5.05 Shohra Wa Jaah.
"I liked working with Lord Olivier. I remember being nervous, then he asked me what I wanted him to do for the photographs.
A man who trained with Lord Olivier for eight years after being plucked from the Birmingham Rep despite his failure to prepare properly for an earlier audition at the RSC.