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Laurence Olivier

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NEWS
July 12, 1989 | By Marc Schogol, Inquirer Staff Writer Contributing to this report were the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and Reuters
Every morning when I wake I think, To hell with the doctors. . . . I should be out there . . . soaring away with my head tilted slightly towards the gods, feeding on the caviar of Shakespeare. . . . I was made to perform, and it is not easy to be put out to grass, left to feed on memories and friendship. An actor must act. - Laurence Olivier, from his memoir On Acting Laurence Olivier, whose unsurpassed ability to breathe life into Shakespearean princes and kings made him a monarch among actors and a peer of Queen Elizabeth II's realm, died yesterday at age 82. Mr. Olivier, who had battled cancer, pleurisy and a muscle disease that made even shaking hands excruciatingly painful, and who had been hospitalized several times during the last year after undergoing a kidney operation, died "peacefully in his sleep," surrounded by friends and relatives, at his home south of London, said his agent, Laurence Evans.
NEWS
July 12, 1989 | By Desmond Ryan, Inquirer Movie Critic
When Richard Burton gave a stunning, volcanic account of Coriolanus at London's Old Vic in the mid-'50s, the critics reached not for superlatives but comparatives. The only question that mattered was how the reading of the ignoblest Roman of them all by this new, rising young lion of the English stage measured up to the standard set by Laurence Olivier. Olivier gave his Coriolanus on the same stage in 1939 - the year in which he also became a movie star as the brooding Heathcliff in William Wyler's Wuthering Heights.
NEWS
June 7, 1994 | Daily News Wire Services
A battle of the titanic egos of Ingmar Bergman and Laurence Olivier is reported by playwright and biographer Michael Meyer in a New York Review of Books analysis of Bergman's "Images: My Life in Film" (Arcade, $27.95) and two other books about the Swedish filmmaker. Olivier was head of the National Theater in London when Bergman directed a production of Meyer's translation of "Hedda Gabler. " Bergman "and Olivier got on far from well," writes Meyer. "You cannot have two Napoleons in the same room.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 1987 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
His kingdom for a horse! Laurence Olivier directed himself in Richard III (1956), playing the part of Shakespeare's crookbacked, scheming duke. As Olivier embodies the dastardly duke, Richard's ambition is as deformed as his body and his wit sharp as the knife he plunges into the backs of other pretenders to the throne. Because the film co-stars John Gielgud and Ralph Richardson, it boasts the triumvirate that ruled British theater during this century. Richard III will be shown Sunday at 1:45 p.m. at the Central Library's Montgomery Auditorium.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 1994 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
At the Battle of Bosworth Field in Shakespeare's Richard III, the downed monarch memorably offered his kingdom for another horse. When Laurence Olivier filmed the sequence, a stunt archer was supposed to put an arrow into the padded side of the king's mount. He missed and hit Olivier in the left calf. For the rest of the movie, released in 1955, Olivier's limp as the hunchbacked usurper was painfully authentic. It took three hours each day to do his makeup and fit him with the deformed hand and hunchback.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2007 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Shakespearean hunk and rotund genius filmmaker/wine tout face off! Crazy wife meets witty mistress! Stammering critic forced onstage to defend reviews! This just in: Nearly everyone that Orson's Shadow gossips about is dead! Austin Pendelton's tedious backstage comedy about Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Vivien Leigh, Joan Plowright and Kenneth Tynan centers on the time in 1960 when the powerful London critic, Tynan, persuaded Olivier, then considered the greatest actor on the English stage, to let Welles, pariah of Hollywood, direct him and his mistress Joan Plowright in Eugene Ionesco's absurdist play, Rhinoceros.
NEWS
December 11, 1988 | By William B. Collins, Inquirer Theater Critic
The lives of notable figures of 20th-century theater inspired a number of books this year. Elia Kazan looked back on his directorial and amatory careers in an autobiography, the real Eugene O'Neill was glimpsed in his letters, and Laurence Olivier, Clifford Odets, Bernard Shaw and Hallie Flanagan drew biographers' scrutiny. Herewith, a brief list of these and a few other highlights: A Life by Elia Kazan (Knopf, $24.95). Kazan was a major force in the American theater of the mid-20th century.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2008 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The celebrated actress Vivien Leigh was a troubled woman who suffered from what was called manic-depression in her lifetime and is called bipolar disorder in ours. Vivien is a troubled account of her life, as told by her. The 85-minute one-woman show, which opened Thursday at Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3, is a histrionic vent about every subject on her lips, but mostly about her tortured relationship with Laurence Olivier. The two were married for 20 years, through fits and spurts of love and disdain, and through Leigh's constant mental anguish.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 1991 | By Richard Fuller, Special to The Inquirer
It has been said often that you can't go home again. Young Kenneth Branagh found that to be painfully true in accent-conscious England. He grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Later his family moved to Reading. Then he discovered the unique magic of acting and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Then he returned to Belfast and was asked, "What's happened to your accent?" "As kids do," recalls Branagh in his memoir Beginning (St. Martin's Press, $9.95), "they had gone right to the heart of this strange situation: an Irishman who lives in England and speaks English, but who is making a living as an Irishman.
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Olivier's erotic letters "I woke raging with desire for you," writes the greatest Shakespearean actor of the 20th Century in a scorching, randy, salacious letter to his lover Vivien Leigh . "Oh dear God how I did want you. " Laurence Olivier 's missive is part of a cache of 200 previously unpublished letters between the two lovers that is to be made public. Explicit, anatomical, and yet somehow also poetic, most of the letters, held in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive, can't be printed here.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Olivier's erotic letters "I woke raging with desire for you," writes the greatest Shakespearean actor of the 20th Century in a scorching, randy, salacious letter to his lover Vivien Leigh . "Oh dear God how I did want you. " Laurence Olivier 's missive is part of a cache of 200 previously unpublished letters between the two lovers that is to be made public. Explicit, anatomical, and yet somehow also poetic, most of the letters, held in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive, can't be printed here.
NEWS
October 11, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
A spark of joy lit up the literary and academic worlds this year: It's the bicentennial of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice . Published in 1813, when Austen was 37, Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy's love story has become one of her most beloved novels, having sold an estimated 20 million copies worldwide. Austen's life and work will be celebrated in the region this month with three noteworthy events. The Lantern Theater Company in Center City will host "Regency and Revelry: The Jane Austen Festival," a five-day Austenalia from Friday through Tuesday featuring lectures and readings by experts, performances, and workshops on all issues Austen.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 19, 2008 | By Howard Shapiro INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The celebrated actress Vivien Leigh was a troubled woman who suffered from what was called manic-depression in her lifetime and is called bipolar disorder in ours. Vivien is a troubled account of her life, as told by her. The 85-minute one-woman show, which opened Thursday at Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio on 3, is a histrionic vent about every subject on her lips, but mostly about her tortured relationship with Laurence Olivier. The two were married for 20 years, through fits and spurts of love and disdain, and through Leigh's constant mental anguish.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 11, 2007 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Shakespearean hunk and rotund genius filmmaker/wine tout face off! Crazy wife meets witty mistress! Stammering critic forced onstage to defend reviews! This just in: Nearly everyone that Orson's Shadow gossips about is dead! Austin Pendelton's tedious backstage comedy about Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, Vivien Leigh, Joan Plowright and Kenneth Tynan centers on the time in 1960 when the powerful London critic, Tynan, persuaded Olivier, then considered the greatest actor on the English stage, to let Welles, pariah of Hollywood, direct him and his mistress Joan Plowright in Eugene Ionesco's absurdist play, Rhinoceros.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 27, 1998 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The last Shylock to walk a Philadelphia stage had a large hooked nose and an exaggeratedly swarthy complexion that gave him a fiendish appearance. The look will be quite different for the Shylock in The Merchant of Venice that the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival is previewing today and tomorrow and opening Friday at the Adrienne. With little makeup and no false nose, he will appear very much like David Howey - the actor who plays him. The earlier Shylock was not in The Merchant of Venice but in a one-person piece, titled Shylock, which was presented at the Walnut Theatre's Studio 3 in February.
NEWS
January 24, 1997 | by Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
The worst part about cold weather isn't frostbite. It's walking down the street and seeing frozen spit on the sidewalk. I used to think this meant the city was full of slobs, but now I think it means the Royal Shakespeare Company is in town. You could fill a spittoon with the saliva that Kenneth Branagh spews forth in "Hamlet," his $8-per-ticket, four-hour epic in living color and 70mm Bard-o-rama. Many years ago, I was privileged to see Derek Jacobi do this - spit - while playing Bernardo in "Much Ado About Nothing" on Broadway.
NEWS
June 7, 1994 | Daily News Wire Services
A battle of the titanic egos of Ingmar Bergman and Laurence Olivier is reported by playwright and biographer Michael Meyer in a New York Review of Books analysis of Bergman's "Images: My Life in Film" (Arcade, $27.95) and two other books about the Swedish filmmaker. Olivier was head of the National Theater in London when Bergman directed a production of Meyer's translation of "Hedda Gabler. " Bergman "and Olivier got on far from well," writes Meyer. "You cannot have two Napoleons in the same room.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 1994 | By Desmond Ryan, INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
At the Battle of Bosworth Field in Shakespeare's Richard III, the downed monarch memorably offered his kingdom for another horse. When Laurence Olivier filmed the sequence, a stunt archer was supposed to put an arrow into the padded side of the king's mount. He missed and hit Olivier in the left calf. For the rest of the movie, released in 1955, Olivier's limp as the hunchbacked usurper was painfully authentic. It took three hours each day to do his makeup and fit him with the deformed hand and hunchback.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 1991 | By Richard Fuller, Special to The Inquirer
It has been said often that you can't go home again. Young Kenneth Branagh found that to be painfully true in accent-conscious England. He grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Later his family moved to Reading. Then he discovered the unique magic of acting and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Then he returned to Belfast and was asked, "What's happened to your accent?" "As kids do," recalls Branagh in his memoir Beginning (St. Martin's Press, $9.95), "they had gone right to the heart of this strange situation: an Irishman who lives in England and speaks English, but who is making a living as an Irishman.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 18, 1991 | By Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
Ignore all that talk about how tough it is for a matinee idol like Mel Gibson to play Hamlet. The truth is, Mel's been playing Hamlet for years - he just hasn't had William Shakespeare writing for him. Hamlet is, after all, a guy motivated by revenge - familiar territory for Gibson, who in three pictures roamed the post-apocalyptic wasteland as the vengeful Mad Max, driven by the murder of his young wife and child. The major difference is, Gibson didn't have a lot of highbrow critics wondering where he got his motivation.
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