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who appeared with John Gielgud on screen:
Birthday: April 14, 1904
Place: South Kensington, London, England, UK
Height: 5' 1"
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| One of the theatre's greatest legends, Sir John Gielgud spent almost 80 of the 96 years of his life appearing in countless plays that saw him portray every major Shakespearean role. The last surviving member of a generation of classical actors that included Laurence Olivier, Peggy Ashcroft, and Ralph Richardson, Gielgud worked up to a month before his death, performing in over 50 films and numerous television productions when he wasn't busy with his stage work.The grandnephew of famed stage actress Ellen Terry, Gielgud was born in London on August 14, 1904. He received his education at Westminster School and would have studied to be an architect had he not rebelled against his parents by announcing his plans to be an actor. Persuading his parents to let him train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Gielgud promised them that if he had failed to make a stage career by the age of 25, he would become an architect. As it turned out, Gielgud was playing Hamlet by the time he was 26, having made his stage debut eight years earlier at the Old Vic. His reputation was made in 1924, when he played Romeo to rave reviews; in addition to Hamlet, roles in plays by Chekov and Ibsen followed, and in 1928, Gielgud traveled to the U.S. for the first time to play the Grand Duke Alexander in The Patriot. The epitome of the kind of old-school Englishness associated with the Victorian theatre, he went on to break theatre box office records when he brought his Hamlet to Broadway in the 1930s.Gielgud began appearing on the big screen in the 1920s, and over the course of the next seven decades, he lent his name to films of every imaginable genre and level of quality. In addition to starring in a number of film adaptations of Shakespeare, he could be seen in projects as disparate as Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight (1967), the 1977 porn extravaganza Caligula, and Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books (1991), in which he was able to fulfill a lifelong dream by playing the role of the Shakespearean patriarch Prospero.In 1981, Gielgud was awarded his only Oscar for his portrayal of Dudley Moore's butler in Arthur; he reprised the role for the film's 1988 sequel, despite the fact that the character had died. Gielgud continued to appear onscreen until the year preceding his death, making enthusiastically-received turns in Shine (1996), in which he played pianist David Helfgott's mentor; Al Pacino's Looking for Richard (1996); and Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth (1998), in which he made a brief appearance as the Pope.Gielgud also did notable work on television, particularly in Brideshead Revisited (1981), which cast him as a stodgily eccentric patriarch, and Merlin (1998), a lavish and well-received take on Arthurian legend. He wrote several books as well, including an autobiography entitled Early Stages. Gielgud was knighted in 1953 and was honored on his 90th birthday with the decision to rename the West End's Globe Theatre as the Gielgud Theatre. He died on May 21, 2000, at the age of 96, having spent the last 25 years of his life with his partner, Martin Hensler.
- Has been called arguably the century's greatest "Hamlet".
- Made member of 'Order of Merit' by Queen Elizabeth II for exeptional contributions to arts. [December 1996]
- Great nephew of celebrated stage actress Ellen Terry.
- Longtime lover Martin Hensler, 30 years younger, died. 
- In 1936, he and Leslie Howard appeared on Broadway in "rival" productions of "Hamlet". Gielgud's was the more successful of the two.
- Knighted in 1953 and appointed a Companion of Honour in 1977.
- As of June 2006, he is one of only nine people ever to win an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy and a Tony.
- Won a Tony in 1961 for Best Director of a Play for "Big Fish, Little Fish".
- Uncle of dancer Maina Gielgud .
- He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Special Award in 1986 (1985 season) for lifetime achievement to theatre.
- He was awarded the 1982 London Evening Theatre Award's Special Award for lifetime achievement to the theatre.
- He once playfully quipped, "Ingrid Bergman is fluent in five languages. And she can't act in any of them."
- Wanted desperately to be cast as The Chorus in Laurence Olivier's film Henry V (1944) according to his autobiography. He understood why Olivier did not cast him, as when the two had acted together in Shakespearean repertory in the mid-1930s, Gielgud got the better notices. Blessed with a beautiful voice, Gielgud played Shakespeare traditionally, a style Olivier thought of as too close to song as compared to his own revolutionary colloquial style. When Olivier was more secure, he did cast Gielgud as Clarence in Richard III (1955).
- Appeared with Laurence Olivier in a 1935 production of "Romeo and Juliet" in which he and Olivier alternated the roles of Romeo and Mercutio. Gielgud got the better reviews in the lead of Romeo, which spurred Olivier on to become a better actor.
- Three-time Tony winner, Gielgud graced the Broadway boards as a live performer 15 times between 1928 and 1976, yet never won an acting Tony Award. He was nominated twice for Best Actor (Dramatic): Edward Albee's "Tiny Alice" and in 1971 for David Storey's "Home." It was as a director that he was honored, with the 1961 Tony as Best Director (Dramatic) for "Big Fish, Little Fish." Directing a total of 15 Broadway productions starring himself or others, he also was nominated as Best Director (Dramatic) in 1963 for Richard B. Sheridan's "The School for Scandal." He won two other Tonys, a 1959 Special Award "for his contribution to theatre for his extraordinary insight into the writings of Shakespeare as demonstrated in his one-man play, 'Ages of Man'," and shared in a 1948 award for Oustanding Foreign Company for Oscar Wilde 's "The Importance of Being Earnest," which he produced, directed and starred in.
- All his Oscar and Emmy nominations were received during the latter part of his career, after he had turned sixty.
- He provided the voice of King Arthur in Dragonheart (1996), played King Constant, King Arthur's grandfather, in Merlin (1998/II) (TV) and provided the voice of Merlin in Quest for Camelot (1998).
- His career spanned 76 years.
- He is one of nine people to win all four of the major entertainment awards (Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy).
- Died the same day as Barbara Cartland.
- Great Uncle of the former dancer and movie choreographer Piers Gielgud.
- He believed that animals should not be exploited. He was particularly fond of birds and joined PETA's campaign against the foie gras industry in the early 1990s, narrating PETA's video exposé of the force-feeding of geese and ducks. Many chefs and restaurateurs who saw that video dropped foie gras from their menus. Sir John received PETA's Humanitarian of the Year Award twice, in 1994 and 1999.
- Laurence Olivier, acknowledging Gielgud's mastery of Shakespeare's verse (though he criticized him for making it too much like song), said that Gielgud was possessed of a voice "that wooed the world".
- Actor William Redfield, who appeared as Guildernstern in the Gielgud-directed stage version of Richard Burton Hamlet (1964/I) (that was captured on film in a lensing of the stage production), wrote in his 1967 memoir of the event, "Notes of an Actor", that Gielgud had an encyclopedia knowledge of the play and could play any and all parts of it from memory for his cast as he directed the production.
- Archive footage of Gielgud as Hamlet appears briefly on the computer screen of the Ethan Hawke as Hamlet (2000) in the year 2000 version of Shakespeare's play. The role is considered the summit for a tragedian, and Gielgud was the most celebrated Hamlet of the 20th Century, surpassing even John Barrymore, Laurence Olivier and Richard Burton in acclaim for his stage portrayal of the melancholy Dane.
Naked Photos of John Gielgud are available at MaleStars.com. They
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