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Hollywood superstar; Oscar-winning director; greatest stage actor of the twentieth century. His era abounded in greats - Gielgud, Richardson, Guinness, Burton, O'Toole - but none could challenge Laurence Olivier's range and power. By the 1940s he had achieved international stardom. His affair with Vivien Leigh led to a marriage as glamorous and as tragic as any in Hollywood history. He was as accomplished a director as he was a leading man: his three Shakespearian adaptations are among the most memorable ever filmed. Off-stage, Olivier was the most extravagant of characters: generous, yet almost insanely jealous of those few contemporaries whom he deemed to be his rivals; charming but with a ferocious temper. With access to more than fifty hours of candid, unpublished interviews, Philip Ziegler ensures that Olivier's true character - at its most undisguised - shines through as never before.
Laurence Olivier was a theatrical force of nature, often quoted as the greatest stage actor of the 20th century. There have been copious biographies of Olivier, but Ziegler’s comprehensive study is the first to draw upon over fifty hours of previously unpublished tapes, reminiscences straight from the actor’s mouth. It was as the first director of the National Theatre that Olivier found perhaps one of his finest hours, guiding the fledgling theatre towards its current status as a beacon of dramatic excellence. Olivier possessed phenomenal power and versatility, portraying everything from Othello to ‘The Entertainer’, Heathcliff to Richard III, and his sheer charisma bursts forth from every page.
|Publication date:||4th September 2014|
|Publisher:||MacLehose Press an imprint of Quercus Publishing|
|Format:||Paperback / softback|
|Categories:||Biography: arts & entertainment, Theatre studies, Films, cinema, Individual actors & performers,|
Philip Ziegler was a diplomat before becoming an editorial director at the publishers William Collins. His many books include acclaimed biographies of Laurence Olivier, William IV, Lady Diana Cooper, Lord Mountbatten and Harold Wilson, as well as the classic history of the Black Death.More About Philip Ziegler