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Laurence Olivier: A Biography - Donald Spoto

HarperCollins, 1991, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Price Clipped.

Illustrated with black and white photographs. From the cover: “Laurence Olivier was, incomparably, the greatest actor of this century, perhaps the greatest of all time. Many of his roles — as Hamlet, Othello and Richard III, and as Archie Rice in John Osborne’s The Entertainer — have already entered theatrical legend, and in his film of Henry V he transcended his craft, and came to embody the hopes and aspirations of a whole nation.

Yet Olivier’s early life gave little indication of the unrivalled preeminence he was ultimately to attain. Born in Dorking in 1907, the son of a clergyman, his career in the theatre had an undistinguished beginning, and he excited the lukewarm interest of Hollywood chiefly because of his resemblance to Ronald Colman. Even at the height of his fame, his greatest triumphs frequently took place against a background of self-doubt and even despair, and his personal life bore little resemblance to his glittering, regal public image.

Now, in the first biography of Olivier to appear since his death, Donald Spoto reveals the real Laurence Olivier, the often lonely and unhappy man behind the great heroic actor. He discloses for the first time the truth about Olivier’s three marriages, to Jill Esmond, Vivien Leigh and Joan Plowright. Based on extensive research, many previously unpublished documents and over 160 interviews with those who knew and worked with Olivier, this is the first full portrait of our greatest man of the theatre.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Black boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. [XVIII] 387 pages.
£6.50

This one has already found a new owner.