Alec Guiness

Famous People from London – Alec Guiness

Sir Alec Guinness was a British actor born in 1914 on 2nd of April in Maida Vale, in the West End of London. On his birth certificate, the space for the infant’s name (where first names only are given) says Alec Guinness.
The column for name and surname of father is blank. He worked in an advertising company while studying at a Studio of Dramatic Art. He started his debut in 1934 and also appeared on stage in a theatre with Old Vic. He also got selected for the seamen in the British navy. However, his professional movie career started after World War II.  He served his nation by being a part of the British navy in the war. However he had to go away for the production Flare Path during the war.  His first professional film after the war was Great Expectations in 1946 in which he depicted the role of Herbert Pocket. He was famous for his versatility, he could take on any role and he even appeared as a woman in one of the movies namely Kind Hearts and Coronets in 1949. He was a chain smoker but successfully quit his smoking habit in his last years. He got married to Merula Salaman and had one child from her.
The wedding was splendid with several mesmerising wedding entertainers.

In 1939, he adapted Charles Dickens‘ novel Great Expectations for the stage, playing the part of Herbert Pocket.

The Ladykillers is a 1955 British black comedy film made by Ealing Studios. It stars Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green, Jack Warner and Katie Johnson.

“I shrivel up every time someone mentions Star Wars (1977) to me.” He didn’t seem too taken with the sci-fi flick. A few days after he was offered the role of Ben Kenobi in 1975, he wrote to long-time friend Anne Kaufman, referring to it as “fairy-tale rubbish” and to George Lucas by the wrong first name.

He was given a starring role opposite William Holden in The Bridge on the River Kwai. For his performance as Colonel Nicholson, the unyielding British POW commanding officer, Guinness won an Academy Award. William Holden portrays American Navy Commander Shears. In a conversation with Colonel Nicholsen (played by Alec Guiness) he tries to stress the importance of the Japanese war prisoners being treated like soldiers while they’re being forced to build a bridge.


A Handful of Dustt, 1988 included Alec Guiness and Judi Dench. Tragedy befalls the family and Brenda demands a divorce with the assistants of family law solicitors in Finchley. When Tony learns that the divorce will cost him Hetton Abbey, he leaves Brenda with nothing and escapes on a scientific expedition to Brazil.

Alec Guinness received a great praise for working with a famous director David Lean. He worked on many famous films with him like Great Expectations, A passage to India and Oliver Twist. However, Guinness always suspected David and didn’t like his initial relation with him but at the end he described his time spent with the famous director as amiable and friendly. Sir Alec’s role as Obi Wan Kenobi in the series Star Wars in 1977 fetched a wide acknowledgment from the new generation throughout the world. Star Wars also got selected as the nominee for the Academy award and the Golden Globe. In 1957, Guinness received the Academy award for the best actor for the film The Bridge on the River Kwai. He also won many nominations for supporting actor and achieved an Academy Honorary award in 1980 for lifetime achievement. He was quite famous in his theatre career also in which he won an Evening Standard award for the presentation in Ross as well as Tony award. In 1960, Alec Guinness won a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. For many successful years in Alec’s life, British film industry designated him to be one of the most famous stars at the Box Office. Guinness really adored Anthony Quayle. His biggest inspiration was Stan Laurel. He has been performing Shakespearean roles m ny times in his film career. Working with John Gielgud, he performed in Richard II and the famous Merchant of Venice. His famous role in Romeo and Juliet (1939) and Henry V (1937) helped him gain wide recognition among the public.


Guiness had several roles in London theatres and also frequented these venues for dramatic entertainment.

He wrote three volumes on his life that successfully received gain and became one of the best selling biographies that got published in 2003. Sir Alec Guinness suffered from cancer at his last stages and eventually passed away in 2000 in West Sussex. Two months following his death, his wife also died from cancer at the age of 86.

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