History Creator / LaurenceOlivier

3rd May '17 2:44:15 PM JulianLapostat
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Laurence Kerr Olivier, [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Baron Olivier of Brighton]] (May 22, 1907 – July 11, 1989) was an English actor and director, considered by many the greatest actor of the twentieth century. His roles range from the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward-winning title role of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' (which he also directed) to a [[UsefulNotes/GoldenRaspberryAward Razzie]]-winning supporting role in the remake of ''Film/TheJazzSinger''.

As a film director, he's best known for his three Creator/WilliamShakespeare adaptations: ''Theatre/HenryV'' (1944), the aforementioned ''Hamlet'' (1948), and ''Theatre/RichardIII'' (1955). He also played the title role in each, being nominated for the Best Actor Oscar each time. He won for ''Hamlet'', which also won Best Picture (the ''only'' movie spoken in Shakespeare's dialogue to win to date) and earned Olivier a Best Director nomination (making him the only person to direct ''himself'' to an Oscar until Roberto Benigni won an Oscar for acting in ''LifeIsBeautiful'' 50 years later).

He also received two honorary Academy Awards: the first in 1947 for Outstanding Achievement for his ''HenryV'', which he produced, directed and starred in; and a Lifetime Achievement award in 1979. Other roles that attracted Academy Award nominations but not wins included Heathcliff in ''Literature/WutheringHeights'' (1939), Maxim de Winter in ''{{Rebecca}}'' (1940),[[note]]which won Best Picture[[/note]] the title role in ''The Entertainer'' (1960), the title role in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' (1965), Andrew Wyke in ''Theatre/{{Sleuth}}'' (1972), Dr Christian Szell in ''Film/MarathonMan'' (1976), and Ezra Lieberman in ''Film/TheBoysFromBrazil'' (1978).

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Laurence Kerr Olivier, [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Baron Olivier of Brighton]] (May 22, 1907 – July 11, 1989) was an English actor and director, considered by many considered, in his lifetime, to be the greatest actor of the twentieth century. His roles range from the his generation. On stage he was unanimously seen as a genius actor and director. In cinema, he hit a peak in his early films, including an UsefulNotes/AcademyAward-winning title role of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' (which ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'', which he also directed) to a [[UsefulNotes/GoldenRaspberryAward Razzie]]-winning supporting role in the remake of ''Film/TheJazzSinger''.

As a film director, he's best known for his three Creator/WilliamShakespeare adaptations: ''Theatre/HenryV'' (1944), the aforementioned
directed. ''Hamlet'' (1948), and ''Theatre/RichardIII'' (1955). He also played the title role in each, being nominated for the Best Actor Oscar each time. He won for ''Hamlet'', which also won Best Picture (the ''only'' movie spoken in Shakespeare's dialogue to win to date) and earned Olivier a Best Director nomination (making him the only person to direct ''himself'' to an Oscar until Roberto Benigni won an Oscar for acting in ''LifeIsBeautiful'' ''Film/LifeIsBeautiful'' 50 years later).

As a film director, he's best known for his three Creator/WilliamShakespeare adaptations. In addition to Hamlet, there's ''Theatre/HenryV'' (1944) and ''Theatre/RichardIII'' (1955), both of which were shot in Technicolor, featuring impressive cinematic spectacle for its time, and still considered [[Creator/OrsonWelles among]] [[Creator/RomanPolanski the]] [[Creator/AkiraKurosawa best]] Shakespeare films. His turn as Richard III in particular proved to be one of his most iconic and much parodied roles, famous for his BreakingTheFourthWall monologues to the camera. He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar each time and it more or less cemented him in PopCulturalOsmosis as [[TheBardOnBoard "the" Shakespearean actor]].

He also received two honorary Academy Awards: the first in 1947 for Outstanding Achievement for his ''HenryV'', which he produced, directed and starred in; and a Lifetime Achievement award in 1979. Other roles that attracted Academy Award nominations but not wins included Heathcliff in ''Literature/WutheringHeights'' (1939), Maxim de Winter in ''{{Rebecca}}'' (1940),[[note]]which won Best Picture[[/note]] the title role in ''The Entertainer'' (1960), the title role in ''Theatre/{{Othello}}'' (1965), Andrew Wyke in ''Theatre/{{Sleuth}}'' (1972), Dr Christian Szell in ''Film/MarathonMan'' (1976), and Ezra Lieberman in ''Film/TheBoysFromBrazil'' (1978).
(1978).



* MethodActing: [[invoked]] He famously hated method acting, which is reassuring given [[Film/{{Spartacus}} some of]] [[Film/MarathonMan the roles]] [[Film/TheBoysFromBrazil he played]]. This hatred of method acting made filming ''Film/ThePrinceAndTheShowgirl'' with Creator/MarilynMonroe difficult for Olivier, since Marilyn's coach Paula Stasburg would insist she employ all the Stanislavskian techniques even in a read-through. Also, a story goes that, when filming ''Film/MarathonMan'', Creator/DustinHoffman stayed up all night in order to appear tired for a scene. Olivier was unimpressed by the show and said "Why not try acting, dear boy? It's easier".[[note]]Hoffman, for his part, considered this a playful jab at him, rather than disparagement of Method acting per se. When mentioning this story, Hoffman made sure to remind people that, right after saying this, Olivier laughed and said, "''I'm'' one to talk."[[/note]] Incidentally, Creator/EliaKazan, one of the pioneers behind the method, defended Olivier's approach:
--> '''Creator/EliaKazan''': ''To indicate is the cardinal sin in acting. Yet even this is open to question. Some great actors imitate the outside and “work in” from there. Creator/LaurenceOlivier, for one. Larry needs to know first of all how the person he’s to play walks, stands, sits, dresses; he has to hear in his memory’s ear the voice of the man whom he’s going to imitate. I lived across the street from him at the time I was directing his wife, Creator/VivienLeigh, in the film of ''Film/AStreetcarNamedDesire'', and would often drop over to see him. Larry was working with [[Creator/WilliamWyler Willy Wyler]] on Sister Carrie and, as ever, concentrating on what might seem to “us” to be insignificant aspects of his characterization. I remember pausing outside a window late one Sunday morning and, undetected, watching Larry go through the pantomime of offering a visitor a chair. He’d try it this way, then that, looking at the guest, then at the chair, doing it with a hosts flourish, doing it with a graceless gesture, then thrusting it brusquely forward...always seeking the most revealing way to do what would be a quickly passing bit of stage business for any other actor...Which way is better? As in all art, both. There is content and there is form. The artistry is in the passion; it is equally in the way the passion is expressed...The greatest actors are known for giving the same performance a little differently each night—but it is the same performance in all essentials. Both techniques are important: turning your emotional resources on and off, this way and that, while at the same time directing the cunning of your body to the most telling external behavior.''

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* MethodActing: [[invoked]] He famously supposedly hated method acting, which is reassuring given [[Film/{{Spartacus}} some of]] [[Film/MarathonMan acting or rather what came to pass for it. He actually was very good friends with Creator/MarlonBrando and Creator/EliaKazan and certainly did appreciate modern theatre (such as Stanislavsky, Chekhov, Peter Brook) but he found the roles]] [[Film/TheBoysFromBrazil he played]]. This hatred exaggerated and headlines-grabbing nature of method acting made odd.
** This bias was confirmed and reinforced during the
filming of ''Film/ThePrinceAndTheShowgirl'' with (which he directed and played one of the title roles). Creator/MarilynMonroe proved difficult for Olivier, since Marilyn's coach Paula Stasburg Strasberg would insist she employ all the Stanislavskian techniques even in a read-through. More or less every director who worked with Marilyn after she signed up with the Strasbergs admitted she was hard to work with.
**
Also, a story goes that, when filming ''Film/MarathonMan'', Creator/DustinHoffman stayed up all night in order to appear tired for a scene. Olivier was unimpressed by the show and said "Why not try acting, dear boy? It's easier".[[note]]Hoffman, for his part, considered this a playful jab at him, rather than disparagement of Method acting per se. When mentioning this story, Hoffman made sure to remind people that, right after saying this, Olivier laughed and said, "''I'm'' one to talk."[[/note]] Incidentally, Creator/EliaKazan, one of the pioneers behind the method, defended Olivier's approach:
--> '''Creator/EliaKazan''': ''To indicate is the cardinal sin in acting. Yet even this is open to question. Some great actors imitate the outside and “work in” from there. Creator/LaurenceOlivier, for one. Larry ''Larry needs to know first of all how the person he’s to play walks, stands, sits, dresses; he has to hear in his memory’s ear the voice of the man whom he’s going to imitate. I lived across the street from him at the time I was directing his wife, Creator/VivienLeigh, in the film of ''Film/AStreetcarNamedDesire'', and would often drop over to see him. Larry was working with [[Creator/WilliamWyler Willy Wyler]] on Sister Carrie and, as ever, concentrating on what might seem to “us” to be insignificant aspects of his characterization. I remember pausing outside a window late one Sunday morning and, undetected, watching Larry go through the pantomime of offering a visitor a chair. He’d try it this way, then that, looking at the guest, then at the chair, doing it with a hosts flourish, doing it with a graceless gesture, then thrusting it brusquely forward...always seeking the most revealing way to do what would be a quickly passing bit of stage business for any other actor...Which way is better? As in all art, both. There is content and there is form. The artistry is in the passion; it is equally in the way the passion is expressed...The greatest actors are known for giving the same performance a little differently each night—but it is the same performance in all essentials. Both techniques are important: turning your emotional resources on and off, this way and that, while at the same time directing the cunning of your body to the most telling external behavior.''
2nd May '17 10:41:51 PM JulianLapostat
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-> ''And though I'm no Olivier. If he fought Sugar Ray/He would say/That the thing ain't the ring, it's the play./[...]And though I could fight// I'd much rather recite...that's entertainment.''

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-> ''And though I'm no Olivier. If he fought Sugar Ray/He Ray...He would say/That say that the thing ain't the ring, it's the play./[...]And play...And though I could fight// fight, I'd much rather recite...that's entertainment.''
2nd May '17 10:41:20 PM JulianLapostat
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Added DiffLines:

-> ''And though I'm no Olivier. If he fought Sugar Ray/He would say/That the thing ain't the ring, it's the play./[...]And though I could fight// I'd much rather recite...that's entertainment.''
-->-- '''Film/RagingBull''', [[Creator/RobertDeNiro Jake La Motta]]
2nd May '17 8:09:32 PM Sylderon
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[[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Baron Olivier of Brighton]] Laurence Kerr Olivier (May 22, 1907 – July 11, 1989) was an English actor and director, considered by many the greatest actor of the twentieth century. His roles range from the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward-winning title role of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' (which he also directed) to a [[UsefulNotes/GoldenRaspberryAward Razzie]]-winning supporting role in the remake of ''Film/TheJazzSinger''.

to:

Laurence Kerr Olivier, [[UsefulNotes/KnightFever Baron Olivier of Brighton]] Laurence Kerr Olivier (May 22, 1907 – July 11, 1989) was an English actor and director, considered by many the greatest actor of the twentieth century. His roles range from the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward-winning title role of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' (which he also directed) to a [[UsefulNotes/GoldenRaspberryAward Razzie]]-winning supporting role in the remake of ''Film/TheJazzSinger''.
2nd May '17 8:07:46 PM Sylderon
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* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: He occasionally put on ridiculous accents for some of his roles. Like ''49th Parallel'' where he plays a Canadian trapper and has an accent that is supposed to sound like Canadian-French-English, and then his weird nasal accent for ''Khartoum'' where he plays the Mahdi.

to:

* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: He occasionally put on ridiculous accents for some of his roles. Like ''49th Parallel'' where he plays a Canadian trapper and has an accent that is supposed to sound like Canadian-French-English, and then his weird nasal accent for ''Khartoum'' where he plays the Mahdi. His portrayal of General [=MacArthur=] in ''Inchon'' has been likened to a bad impression of WCFields.
17th Apr '17 1:07:49 PM DaBradGuy
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* MethodActing: [[invoked]] He famously hated method acting, which is reassuring given [[Film/{{Spartacus}} some of]] [[Film/MarathonMan the roles]] [[Film/TheBoysFromBrazil he played]]. This hatred of method acting made filming ''Film/ThePrinceAndTheShowgirl'' with Creator/MarilynMonroe difficult for Olivier, since Marilyn's coach Paula Stasburg would insist she employ all the Stanislavskian techniques even in a read-through. Also, a story goes that, when filming ''Film/MarathonMan'', Creator/DustinHoffman stayed up all night in order to appear tired for a scene. Olivier was unimpressed by the show and said "Why not try acting, dear boy? It's easier".[[note]]Hoffman, for his part, considered this a playful jab at him, rather than disparagement of Method acting per se.[[/note]] Incidentally, Creator/EliaKazan, one of the pioneers behind the method, defended Olivier's approach:

to:

* MethodActing: [[invoked]] He famously hated method acting, which is reassuring given [[Film/{{Spartacus}} some of]] [[Film/MarathonMan the roles]] [[Film/TheBoysFromBrazil he played]]. This hatred of method acting made filming ''Film/ThePrinceAndTheShowgirl'' with Creator/MarilynMonroe difficult for Olivier, since Marilyn's coach Paula Stasburg would insist she employ all the Stanislavskian techniques even in a read-through. Also, a story goes that, when filming ''Film/MarathonMan'', Creator/DustinHoffman stayed up all night in order to appear tired for a scene. Olivier was unimpressed by the show and said "Why not try acting, dear boy? It's easier".[[note]]Hoffman, for his part, considered this a playful jab at him, rather than disparagement of Method acting per se.[[/note]] When mentioning this story, Hoffman made sure to remind people that, right after saying this, Olivier laughed and said, "''I'm'' one to talk."[[/note]] Incidentally, Creator/EliaKazan, one of the pioneers behind the method, defended Olivier's approach:
9th Apr '17 1:23:49 AM JulianLapostat
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** On the other hand, he loathed Creator/CharlesLaughton and the feeling was mutual. The two ArchEnemy were costars on ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' and filming them both on the set was too much even for Creator/StanleyKubrick to handle and so he delegated referee duty to Peter Ustinov.



** On the other hand, he loathed Creator/CharlesLaughton and the feeling was mutual. The two ArchEnemy were costars on ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' and filming them both on the set was too much even for Creator/StanleyKubrick to handle and so he delegated referee duty to Peter Ustinov.
9th Apr '17 1:22:41 AM JulianLapostat
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* ByronicHero: He played Heathcliff, Richard III, Maxim de Winter, Hamlet, and his take on Nelson in ''That Hamilton Woman'' was also quite Byronic, brooding, dark and intense. He was also a real-life one.



* DyeingForYourArt: [[invoked]] Olivier occasionally did this, most famously his stage version of ''Theatre/{{Othello}}''. He wore full-body make-up, lifted weights and spent months working with a vocal coach to lower his voice an entire octave.

to:

* DyeingForYourArt: [[invoked]] Olivier occasionally did this, most famously his stage version of ''Theatre/{{Othello}}''. He wore full-body make-up, lifted weights and spent months working with a vocal coach to lower his voice an entire octave. More constoversially, he dyed himself again to play the Mahdi in ''Khartoum'', to look more Arab.



** On the other hand, he loathed Creator/CharlesLaughton and the feeling was mutual. The two ArchEnemy were costars on ''Film/{{Spartacus}}'' and filming them both on the set was too much even for Creator/StanleyKubrick to handle and so he delegated referee duty to Peter Ustinov.



* ShakespearianActors: He was one.

to:

* ShakespearianActors: He was one.considered to be the one of the greatest, and alongside Ralph Richardson and John Gielgud in acclaim as a "theatrical knight". Likewise, he attained fame for his Shakespeare films, and his take on Richard III was especially iconic.
* WhatTheHellIsThatAccent: He occasionally put on ridiculous accents for some of his roles. Like ''49th Parallel'' where he plays a Canadian trapper and has an accent that is supposed to sound like Canadian-French-English, and then his weird nasal accent for ''Khartoum'' where he plays the Mahdi.
4th Apr '17 5:29:36 AM AllenbysEyes88
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* PlayingAgainstType: [[invoked]] While it's hard to say Olivier, with his diverse selection of roles, had a "type," his appearance in John Osborne's ''The Entertainer'' counts. Besides playing a seedy musical hall comedian, Olivier's involvement gave credibility to Osborne and the Royal Court Theatre, who were considered disreputable outsiders among England's stage community. Afterwards, establishment actors like John Gielgud and Alec Guinness queued to appear at the Royal Court!

to:

* PlayingAgainstType: [[invoked]] While it's hard to say Olivier, with his diverse selection of roles, had a "type," his appearance in John Osborne's Creator/JohnOsborne's ''The Entertainer'' counts. Besides playing a seedy musical hall comedian, Olivier's involvement gave credibility to Osborne and the Royal Court Theatre, who were considered disreputable outsiders among England's stage community. Afterwards, establishment actors like John Gielgud and Alec Guinness queued to appear at the Royal Court!
3rd Apr '17 12:35:26 PM AllenbysEyes88
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* MethodActing: [[invoked]] He famously hated method acting, which is reassuring given [[Film/{{Spartacus}} some of]] [[Film/MarathonMan the roles]] [[Film/TheBoysFromBrazil he played]]. This hatred of method acting made filming ''Film/ThePrinceAndTheShowgirl'' with Creator/MarilynMonroe difficult for Olivier, since Marilyn's coach Paula Stasburg would insist she employ all the Stanislavskian techniques even in a read-through. Also, a story goes that, when filming ''Film/MarathonMan'', Creator/DustinHoffman stayed up all night in order to appear tired for a scene. Olivier was unimpressed by the show and said "Why not try acting, dear boy? It's easier". Incidentally, Creator/EliaKazan, one of the pioneers behind the method, defended Olivier's approach:

to:

* MethodActing: [[invoked]] He famously hated method acting, which is reassuring given [[Film/{{Spartacus}} some of]] [[Film/MarathonMan the roles]] [[Film/TheBoysFromBrazil he played]]. This hatred of method acting made filming ''Film/ThePrinceAndTheShowgirl'' with Creator/MarilynMonroe difficult for Olivier, since Marilyn's coach Paula Stasburg would insist she employ all the Stanislavskian techniques even in a read-through. Also, a story goes that, when filming ''Film/MarathonMan'', Creator/DustinHoffman stayed up all night in order to appear tired for a scene. Olivier was unimpressed by the show and said "Why not try acting, dear boy? It's easier". [[note]]Hoffman, for his part, considered this a playful jab at him, rather than disparagement of Method acting per se.[[/note]] Incidentally, Creator/EliaKazan, one of the pioneers behind the method, defended Olivier's approach:
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