8th out of 78 books — 28 voters
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Revealing the man behind the myth, this perceptive, witty, and penetrating portrait investigates Laurence Olivier—not merely the greatest actor of the 20th century, but perhaps of all time. Its chapters touch on his achievements as a director of both plays and films, his central role in the founding of the National Theater, and the off-stage dramas of his private life. Ons ...more
Hardcover, 544 pages
Published April 28th 2008 by Little Books
(first published January 1st 1988)
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Aug 14, 2007 Ralph rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in theater or acting in the twentieth century.
I am only about half-way through this book, but it is just an excellent document (a long one) on acting in the theater, especially in England but also in America, in the 20th Century. It is well researched, easy to read, and doesn't seem to pull too many punches. Although it was written during Olivier's lifetime, Mr. Holden is quite fair and not in awe of his subject. Unfortunately, Laurence Olivier was not quite the man he would have liked to be - and certainly not the man he presented to the p ...more