Lord Laurence Kerr, Baron Olivier|
(1907 - 1989) U.K.
Born in Dorking, Surrey, Olivier has been one of the greatest English theater and movies actors. From 1926 to 1928 Olivier played in Birmingham. He then moved to London where in 1935 he became known for Romeo and Juliet where he alternatively played the roles of Romeo and of Mercuzio. He soon became one of the leading figures of English theater.
From 1936 to 1938 he devoted himself to the Sheakespeare's repertory. With his wife Vivian Leigh, he started in 1944 a lucky season - his Henry IV in 1945 was extraordinary. He also interpreted works of Ibsen, Chekov and Shaw then, together with his wife, in Stratford-upon-Avon, he produced a famous edition of Shakeaspeare's Titus Andronicus.
His interest turned also to playwright like Ionesco, and Eduardo de Filippo.
Knighted in 1947, life peer in 1970, and Order of Merit 1981, he was for many years associated with the Old Vic, was director of the National Theatre company (1962-73), and the Olivier Theatre (part of the National Theatre of the South Bank), was named after him.
Also his activity as a screen actor was intense. Famous early films include Wuthering Heights. His first hits were The voice in the Tempest (1939) and Rebecca (1940) of a romantic intonation.
His talents of an exceptional interpret were revealed in the movie trilogy of Shakespeare's works, Henry V (1944, Oscar prize), Hamlet (1948, Oscar prize), and Richard III (1955). He was also the director of these three movies.
Laurence Olivier is known to have been a bisexual man, and to have had a relationship with the actor Danny Kaye (picture at the right) for ten years.
Their sexual relationship lasted until Olivier re-married and his wife objected...