Gender
Male
Born
May 22, 1907
Dorking, ENGLAND
Died
Jul 11, 1989
Steyning, ENGLAND
Performer Director Producer Designer Composer
Also Known As
Lord Olivier
Sir Laurence Olivier
Relations
Husband of
Jill Esmond (1930 - 1940) divorced
Husband of
Vivien Leigh (1940 - 1960) divorced
Husband of
Joan Plowright (1960 - 1989) his death
Comments
Biography: Laurence Kerr Olivier was born on May 22, 1907 in Dorking, Surrey to Agnes Crookenden Olivier and Gerard Olivier, a priest of the Church of England. He attended the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art, and then joined the Birmingham Repertory Company. He became a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. He performed with the Old Vic, and then returned there as a co-director in 1944. He was the founder and first artistic director of the National Theater of Britain. He married actress Jill Esmond, with whom he had his son Tarquin Olivier. He then married actress Vivien Leigh and then actress Joan Plowright, with whom he had three children.

Film/TV Credits: Film credits include: "Spartacus," "A Bridge Too Far," "Romeo and Juliet," "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution," "Clash of the Titans," "Rebecca," "The Bounty," "Marathon Man," "Pride and Prejudice," "The Boys from Brazil," "The Prince and the Showgirl," "Sleuth," "A Little Romance," "Wuthering Heights," and "Dracula." Television credits include: "Great Performances," "American Masters," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Mike Douglas Show," "Arena," "King Lear," "Wagner," "ITV Play of the Week," "David Copperfield," and "Love Among the Ruins."

Other Awards: Received an Honorary Award at the Oscars for "The Chronicle History of King Henry the Fifth with His Battell Fought at Agincourt in France" in 1947. Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for "Hamlet" in 1949. Received a lifetime achievement Honorary Award at the Oscars in 1979. Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor (Lead or Support) for "The Moon and Sixpence" in 1960. Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for "Long Day's Journey Into Night" in 1973. Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Special Program - Drama or Comedy for "Love Among the Ruins" in 1975. Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for "Brideshead Revisited" in 1982. Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special for "King Lear" in 1984. Received a star on the Walk of Fame in 1960.

Trivia:
He was knighted in 1947, and raised to life peerage in 1970.
His 1982 autobiography was entitled ''Confessions of an Actor.'' He published "On Acting" in 1986.
The marquees of Broadway theaters were dimmed in his honor on July 12, 1989.
Filumena (Feb 10, 1980 - Mar 09, 1980)
  • Directed by Laurence Olivier
PlayRevival
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Oct 16, 1967 - Oct 19, 1968)
  • Produced by arrangement with The Royal National Theatre (Laurence Olivier, Director)
PlayComedyOriginal
Becket (May 08, 1961 - May 27, 1961)
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier [Henry II]
PlayOriginal
Becket (Oct 05, 1960 - Mar 25, 1961)
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier [Thomas Becket]
PlayOriginal
One More River (Mar 18, 1960 - Mar 19, 1960)
  • Produced by arrangement with Laurence Olivier
PlayOriginal
The Tumbler (Feb 24, 1960 - Feb 27, 1960)
  • Directed by Laurence Olivier
PlayOriginal
The Entertainer (Feb 12, 1958 - May 10, 1958)
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier [Archie Rice]
PlayDramaOriginal
Venus Observed (Feb 13, 1952 - Apr 26, 1952)
  • Directed by Laurence Olivier
  • Produced by arrangement with Laurence Olivier Productions, Ltd.
PlayComedyOriginal
Antony and Cleopatra (Dec 20, 1951 - Apr 13, 1952)
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier [Antony]
  • Produced in association with Laurence Olivier Productions, Ltd.
PlayTragedyRevival
Caesar and Cleopatra (Dec 19, 1951 - Apr 12, 1952)
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier [Julius Caesar]
  • Produced by arrangement with Laurence Olivier Productions, Ltd.
PlayComedyRevival
Daphne Laureola (Sep 18, 1950 - Nov 04, 1950)
  • Produced in association with Laurence Olivier
PlayComedyOriginal
The Critic (May 20, 1946 - Jun 22, 1946)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Mr. Puff]
PlayComedyRevival
Oedipus Rex (May 20, 1946 - Jun 22, 1946)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Oedipus Rex]
PlayTragedyRevival
Uncle Vanya (May 13, 1946 - Jun 22, 1946)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Mikhail lvovich Astrov]
PlayDramaRevival
King Henry IV, Part II (May 07, 1946 - Jun 22, 1946)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Justice Shallow]
PlayHistoryRevival
King Henry IV, Part I (May 06, 1946 - Jun 22, 1946)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Henry Percy]
PlayHistoryRevival
Romeo and Juliet (May 09, 1940 - Jun 08, 1940)
  • Produced by Laurence Olivier
  • Directed by Laurence Olivier
  • Production Design by Laurence Olivier
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier [Romeo]
  • Incidental music by Laurence Olivier
PlayTragedyRevival
No Time for Comedy (Apr 17, 1939 - Sep 30, 1939)
  • Starring: Laurence Olivier
    • Gaylord Easterbrook - (Apr 17, 1939 - Jul 22, 1939)
PlayComedyOriginal
The Green Bay Tree (Oct 20, 1933 - Mar 1934)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Julian]
PlayDramaOriginal
Private Lives (Jan 27, 1931 - Sep 1931)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Victor Prynne]
PlayComedy Romantic ComedyOriginal
Murder on the Second Floor (Sep 11, 1929 - Oct 1929)
  • Performer: Laurence Olivier [Hugh Bromilow]
PlayDramaOriginal

Tony Award®

 

Best Actor in Play

1958 | Nominee  | The Entertainer
Starring: Laurence Olivier

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