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Laurence Olivier (1907–1989)

Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High Anglican priest. His surname came from a ... See full bio »

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Nominations for the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced Tuesday, with Carol leading the pack with six nominations. Visit our Awards Central section for the full list of nominations.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 37 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

Known For


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (87 credits)
 1989 War Requiem
The Old Soldier
 1986 Lost Empires (TV Mini-Series)
Harry Burrard
 1984 The Ebony Tower (TV Movie)
Henry Breasley
 1984 The Jigsaw Man
Adm. Sir Gerald Scaith
 1984 The Last Days of Pompeii (TV Mini-Series)
- Part 3 (1984) ... Gaius
- Part 2 (1984) ... Gaius
- Part 1 (1984) ... Gaius
 1984 A Voyage Round My Father (TV Movie)
Clifford Mortimer
 1984 A Talent for Murder (TV Movie)
Dr. Anthony Wainwright
 1983 Wagner (TV Series)
- Episode #1.10 (1983) ... Pfeuffer
- Episode #1.6 ... Pfeuffer
- Episode #1.9 ... Pfeuffer
- Episode #1.8 ... Pfeuffer
- Episode #1.7 ... Pfeuffer
 1983 Mr. Halpern and Mr. Johnson (TV Movie)
Joe Halpern
 1983 King Lear (TV Movie)
King Lear
 1978 The Betsy
Number One
 1978 Daphne Laureola (TV Movie)
Sir Joseph
 1978 Saturday, Sunday, Monday (TV Movie)
 1977 A Bridge Too Far
Doctor Spaander
 1977 Jesus of Nazareth (TV Mini-Series)
- Part 2 (1977) ... Nicodemus
- Part 1 (1977) ... Nicodemus
 1976 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (TV Movie)
Big Daddy
 1976 Great Performances (TV Series)
- The Collection (1976) ... Harry
 1975 Love Among the Ruins (TV Movie)
Sir Arthur Glanville-Jones
 1974 The Rehearsal
 1973 The Merchant of Venice (TV Movie)
 1970 David Copperfield (TV Movie)
Mr. Creakle
 1969 Oh! What a Lovely War
Field-Marshal Sir John French
 1969 Male of the Species (TV Movie)
 1968/I The Shoes of the Fisherman
Premier Piotr Ilyich Kamenev (as Sir Laurence Olivier)
 1968 Romeo and Juliet
Narrator (English version, voice, uncredited)
 1967 NET Playhouse (TV Series)
- Uncle Vanya (1967) ... Astrov
 1965 Othello
 1965 Bunny Lake Is Missing
Superintendent Newhouse
 1961 The Power and the Glory (TV Movie)
 1957 The Prince and the Showgirl
The Regent
 1956 Film Fanfare (TV Series)
- Episode #1.21 (1956) ... Himelf
 1952 Carrie
George Hurstwood
 1948 Hamlet
Hamlet - Prince of Denmark / Voice of Ghost
 1944 This Happy Breed
Narrator (uncredited)
 1941 49th Parallel
Johnnie - the Trapper
 1938 The Divorce of Lady X
Everard Logan
 1935 I Stand Condemned
Capt. Ivan Ignatoff
 1933 No Funny Business
Clive Dering
 1931 Potiphar's Wife
 1931 The Yellow Ticket
Julian Rolfe
 1931 Friends and Lovers
Lieutenant Ned Nichols
 1930 Too Many Crooks (Short)
The Man
Show Show Producer (9 credits)
Show Show Director (6 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack (5 credits)
Show Show Writer (4 credits)
Show Show Miscellaneous Crew (3 credits)
Show Show Self (45 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (66 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

(7/1/57) Stage: Appeared in William Shakespeare's "Titus Andronicus", at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford, England, with Vivien Leigh, Anthony Quayle, Maxine Audley, William Devlin, Ian Holm and Alan Webb in the cast. Peter Brook was the director. See more »

Publicity Listings:

3 Biographical Movies | 12 Print Biographies | 3 Portrayals | 20 Articles | 3 Pictorials | 8 Magazine Cover Photos | See more »

Alternate Names:

Baron Olivier | Lieut. Laurence Olivier | Lord Olivier | Sir Laurence Olivier | Sir Lawrence Olivier


5' 10" (1.78 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[the only acting advice he would give] What is acting but lying and what is good lying but convincing lying? See more »


Alec Guinness played The Fool to his first Lear under the direction of Tyrone Guthrie in 1938 when he was 24 and Olivier was 31. Olivier was generally considered less than successful in the role due to his youth and relative lack of maturity in classical roles (though his contemporaneous Henry V was a smash and hinted at his future greatness as an interpreter of William Shakespeare). However, ... See more »


Roles in Shakespeare adaptations See more »


Kim See more »

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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Olivier in the Godfather cgordon-6
Johnny Depp of His Time? edanna115
looked alot like Ewan McGregor Sonander
A great actor - based on what movies? rentgenas11
Acting abilities aside.... cmfalf
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