Laurence Olivier

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Laurence Olivier

Laurence Olivier (borders removed).jpg
Photograph by Carl Van Vechten, 1939
Born(1907-05-22)22 May 1907
Died11 July 1989(1989-07-11) (aged 82)
Cause of deathRenal failure
OccupationActor, director, producer, screenwriter
Years active1926–1988
Spouse(s)Jill Esmond
(m. 1930–1940; divorced)
Vivien Leigh
(m. 1940–1960; divorced)
Joan Plowright
(m. 1961–1989; his death)
Children2 sons, 2 daughters
RelativesSydney Olivier (uncle, dead)
Noel Olivier (cousin, dead)

Sir Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, OM (22 May 1907 – 11 July 1989) was an English actor. He was one of the most famous and revered actors of the 20th century.[1] He was the youngest actor to be knighted and the first to be raised to the peerage.[2] Olivier married English actresses Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh and Joan Plowright.

Actor Spencer Tracy said that Olivier was 'the greatest actor in the English-speaking world'.[3] In 1999, the American Film Institute named Olivier among the Greatest Male Stars of All Time, at number 14 on the list.

Olivier had many awards: twelve Oscar nominations, with two wins (for Best Actor and Best Picture for the 1948 film Hamlet), plus two honorary awards including a statuette and certificate. He was awarded five Emmy Awards. He was a three-time Golden Globe and BAFTA winner. In 1976 he received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, a lifetime achievement award.

Olivier's ashes are buried in Westminster Abbey.

References[change | change source]

  1. Hodgdon, Barbara. Shakespeare Quarterly, "From the Editor", Fall, 2002
  2. "Picks and Pans: Pages; Midnight Sweets". People Magazine. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  3. Tracy quoted in By Myself and Then Some by Lauren Bacall (Harper Paperbacks 2006), pp. 214-15.