Sir Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier of Brighton, (May 22, 1907 - July 11, 1989) was an English actor and director, esteemed by many as the greatest actor of the 20th century.

Laurence Olivier was born in Dorking. He attended the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art. His stage breakthrough was in Noel Coward's Private Lives ( in 1930), and in Romeo and Juliet ( in 1935) alternating the roles of Romeo and Mercutio with John Gielgud. His film breakthrough was portrayal of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights in 1939.

He was founding director (1962-1973) of the National Theatre of Great Britain.

On July 25, 1930, he married actress Jill Esmond, whom Olivier biographer Donald Spoto described as "a diffident lesbian." They had one son, Tarquin, and were divorced on January 29, 1940.

On August 31, 1940 he married actress Vivien Leigh. They were divorced on December 2, 1960.

On March 17, 1961 he married actress Joan Plowright. They had one son and two daughters. He was not notably faithful in those marriages and had extramarital affairs with both men and women: Joan Plowright said "I have always resented the comments that it was I who was the homewrecker of Larry's marriage to Vivien Leigh. Danny Kaye was attached to Larry far earlier than I." Olivier reportedly was also intimate with playwright Noel Coward.

Among his honours are 10 Oscar nominations (he won best actor/picture for Hamlet in 1949), and two honorary Oscars (1947, 1979). He was knighted in 1947, made a life peer in 1970 (the first actor to achieve this distinction), and was admitted to the Order of Merit in 1981.

He died in Steyning, West Sussex, England, of complications of a neuromuscular disorder and cancer.

Lord Olivier is interred in Westminster Abbey, London, England. The Laurence Olivier Awards, organised by The Society of London Theatre, were renamed in his honour in 1984.

Table of contents
1 Acting Appearances in London
2 Acting Appearances on Broadway
3 Productions on Broadway
4 Broadway Directing Credits
5 Movie Credits
6 Television Credits

Acting Appearances in London

Acting Appearances on Broadway

Productions on Broadway

  • Romeo and Juliet - 1940 (also acted, composed, directed, and designed)
  • Daphne Laureola - 1950 (producer)
  • Antony and Cleopatra - 1952 (also acted)
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - 1967-8 (producer, director)
  • Venus Observed - 1952 (producer and director)
  • Romeo and Juliet - 1940 (also producer, composer, director, and designer)

Broadway Directing Credits

  • Romeo and Juliet - 1940 (also acted, composed, produced, and designed)
  • Venus Observed - 1952 (producer and director)
  • The Tumbler - 1960 (director)
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - 1967-8 (producer, director)
  • Filumena - 1980 (director)

Movie Credits

Television Credits