John Gielgud

Actor, Director, Author
Widely considered one of the finest actors of the 20th-Century, the versatile and prolific Sir John Gielgud fashioned an astounding career that spanned nearly 80 years. Born into a renowned English theater family ... Read more »
Born: 04/14/1904 in London, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (128)

Edward the King 2014 (Movie)

Disraeli (Actor)

Station Jim 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

Mouthing Off: 51 Greatest Smartasses 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Changing Stages 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Vivien Leigh: A Delicate Balance 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Noel Coward Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Elizabeth 1998 (Movie)

The Pope (Actor)

Merlin 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Quest for Camelot 1998 (Movie)

of Merlin (Voice)

The Tichborne Claimant 1998 (Movie)

Lord Chief Justice Cockburn (Actor)

Haunted 1997 (Movie)

Dr Doyle (Actor)

Hamlet 1996 (Movie)

Priam (Actor)

Looking for Richard 1996 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Shine 1996 (Movie)

Cecil Parkes (Actor)

The Leopard Son 1996 (Movie)

Narration--Voice of Hugo Van Lawick (Narrator)

The Portrait of A Lady 1996 (Movie)

Mr Touchett (Actor)

First Knight 1995 (Movie)

Oswald (Actor)

Lovejoy: The Lost Colony 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Hand in Glove 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Shining Through 1992 (Movie)

Sunflower (Actor)

Sir John Gielgud Talking With David Frost 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Swan Song 1992 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Power of One 1992 (Movie)

Headmaster St John (Actor)

Prospero's Books 1991 (Movie)

Prospero (Actor)

The Emperor's New Clothes 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Narrator

Vivien Leigh: Scarlett and Beyond 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Richard Burton: In From the Cold 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Strike It Rich 1990 (Movie)

Herbert Dreuther (Actor)

A Man For All Seasons 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Getting It Right 1989 (Movie)

Sir Gordon Munday (Actor)

John Gielgud: An Actor's Life 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

The Theban Plays 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

A TV Dante 1988 (Movie)

of Virgil (Voice)

Appointment With Death 1988 (Movie)

Colonel Carbury (Actor)

Arthur 2 On The Rocks 1988 (Movie)

Hobson (Actor)

Funny, You Don't Look 200 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Quartermaine's Terms 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Whistle Blower 1987 (Movie)

Sir Adrian Chapple (Actor)

Time After Time 1987 (Movie)

Jasper Swift (Actor)

Barbablu Barbablu 1986 (Movie)

(Actor)

Winston Churchill 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Camille 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Plenty 1985 (Movie)

Leonard Darwin (Actor)

Ingrid 1984 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Leave All Fair 1984 (Movie)

John Middleton Murry (Actor)

Scandalous 1984 (Movie)

Uncle Willie (Actor)

The Master of Ballantrae 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

The Shooting Party 1983 (Movie)

Cornelius Cardew (Actor)

Wagner 1983 (Movie)

Pfistermeister (Actor)

Gandhi 1982 (Movie)

Lord Irwin (Actor)

Marco Polo 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

The Wicked Lady 1982 (Movie)

Hogarth (Actor)

Arthur 1981 (Movie)

Hobson (Actor)

Chariots of Fire 1981 (Movie)

Master of Trinity (Actor)

Lion of the Desert 1981 (Movie)

Sharif El Gariani (Actor)

Priest of Love 1981 (Movie)

Herbert G Muskett (Actor)

Sphinx 1981 (Movie)

Abu Hamdi (Actor)

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The Elephant Man 1980 (Movie)

Carr Gomm (Actor)

The Human Factor 1980 (Movie)

Brigadier Tomlinson (Actor)

Dyrygent 1979 (Movie)

The Conductor (Actor)

Les Miserables 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Murder By Decree 1979 (Movie)

Lord Salisbury--Prime Minister (Actor)

Richard II 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Romeo and Juliet 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

The Formula 1979 (Movie)

Dr Abraham Esau (Actor)

Caligula 1978 (Movie)

Nerva (Actor)

Aces High 1977 (Movie)

Headmaster (Actor)

Joseph Andrews 1977 (Movie)

(Actor)

Peter Pan 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Narrator

Providence 1977 (Movie)

Clive Langham (Actor)

The Pallisers 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man 1976 (Movie)

Preacher (Actor)

11 Harrowhouse 1974 (Movie)

Meecham (Actor)

Frankenstein: The True Story 1973 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Murder on the Orient Express 1974 (Movie)

Beddoes (Actor)

Galileo 1973 (Movie)

Old Cardinal (Actor)

Gold 1973 (Movie)

Farrell (Actor)

Invitation to the Wedding 1973 (Movie)

Reverend Clyde Ormiston (Actor)

Eagle in a Cage 1972 (Movie)

Lord Sissal (Actor)

Lost Horizon 1972 (Movie)

Chang (Actor)

Search 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)

Actor

Hamlet 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

Julius Caesar 1971 (Movie)

Julias Caesar (Actor)

Oh! What A Lovely War 1969 (Movie)

Count Berchtold (Actor)

Assignment to Kill 1968 (Movie)

Curt Valayan (Actor)

Sebastian 1968 (Movie)

Head of Intelligence (Actor)

The Charge of the Light Brigade 1968 (Movie)

Lord Raglan (Actor)

The Shoes of the Fisherman 1968 (Movie)

Elder Pope (Actor)

Chimes at Midnight 1967 (Movie)

Henry IV (Actor)

To Die In Madrid 1965 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

Becket 1964 (Movie)

King Louis VII of France (Actor)

Hamlet 1964 (Movie)

of Ghost (Voice)

The Loved One 1964 (Movie)

Sir Francis Hinsley (Actor)

DuPont Show of the Month 1957 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

Saint Joan 1957 (Movie)

Earl of Warwick (Actor)

The Barretts of Wimpole Street 1957 (Movie)

Barrett (Actor)

Around the World in 80 Days 1956 (Movie)

Foster (Actor)

Richard III 1955 (Movie)

Clarence (Actor)

Romeo and Juliet 1954 (Movie)

Chorus (Actor)

Romeo and Juliet 1954 (Movie)

Narration(Prologue) (Narrator)

Julius Caesar 1953 (Movie)

Cassius (Actor)

Secret Agent 1935 (Movie)

(Actor)

Ava Gardner (TV Show)

Actor

Brideshead Revisited (Tv Show)

Actor

Catastrophe (TV Show)

Actor

Frankenstein (Movie)

(Actor)

Gulliver's Travels (TV Show)

Actor

Inside the Third Reich (TV Show)

Actor

Marco Polo (TV Show)

Actor

Qb VII (TV Show)

Actor

Scarlett (TV Show)

Actor

Six Centuries Of Verse (TV Show)

Actor

Summer's Lease (TV Show)

Actor

The Best of Friends (TV Show)

Actor

The Canterville Ghost (TV Show)

Actor

The Far Pavilions (TV Show)

Actor

The Good Companions (Movie)

Inigo Jolifant (Actor)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (TV Show)

Actor

The Master of Ballantrae (Movie)

(Actor)

The Prime Minister (Movie)

Benjamin Disraeli (Actor)

The Scarlet and the Black (TV Show)

Actor

The Seven Dials Mystery (TV Show)

Actor

Twilight of the Gods (TV Show)

Actor

War and Remembrance (TV Show)

Actor

William (TV Show)

Actor
Director (1)

Hamlet 1964 (Movie)

(Director)
Camera, Film, & Tape (1)

The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Presentation 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Photography
Music (1)

Knight of Cups 2016 (Movie)

("The Pilgrim's Progress") (Song Performer)
Other (1)

Hamlet 1964 (Movie)

staging (Other)

Biography

Widely considered one of the finest actors of the 20th-Century, the versatile and prolific Sir John Gielgud fashioned an astounding career that spanned nearly 80 years. Born into a renowned English theater family, Gielgud began performing on stage in 1921 and was soon touted as one of the leading Shakespearian actors of his day. His continued efforts producing other classic works at the renowned Queen's Theatre throughout the 1930s and 1940s further solidified his growing reputation. Gielgud's film output began to increase mid-century with notable productions like "Julius Caesar" (1953) and "Richard III" (1955), in addition to a growing recognition on the stages of Broadway for such productions as "Ages of Man" and "Little Fish, Big Fish," both of which earned him a Tony Award. Modern-era works by the likes of David Storey and Harold Pinter occupied Gielgud's time throughout much of the 1970s, but it was near the dawn of the following decade when the heralded stage actor also became one of the most respected film actors ever to grace the screen. Following acclaimed performances in efforts like Alain Resnais' "Providence" (1977), the septuagenarian actor won an Oscar for his supporting role as the less-than-amused butler in the hit comedy "Arthur" (1981). Accolades continued to come for his work on such miniseries as "Brideshead Revisited" (PBS, 1982), as well as on radio plays alongside protégé Kenneth Branagh. One of the few performers to win an Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy, Gielgud's placement in the pantheon of all-time greats was inarguably secure.

Relationships

Kate Gielgud

Mother

Paul Anstee

Companion
involved in the 1950s

Aniela Aszpergerowa

Great-Grandmother
famed Lithuanian performer

Frank Gielgud

Father
married 1893

Lewis Gielgud

Brother
older

Val Gielgud

Brother
older Head of Sound and Drama at BBC for over thirty years

Eleanor Gielgud

Sister
born in 1907 died in 1999

Martin Hensler

Companion
met in 1963 died of cancer in March 1999

John Perry

Companion
Irish reportedly Gielgud's first long-standing relationship

Ellen Terry

Great-Aunt

EDUCATION

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

London , England 1921

Westminster School

London , England

Lady Benson's Acting School

received one-year scholarship

Milestones

1998

Made brief cameo as the Pope in the historical drama "Elizabeth"

1998

Voice character of Merlin in the animated "The Quest for Camelot"

1996

Narrated the documentary "The Leopard's Son"

1996

Received the Order of Merit from Queen Elizabeth II

1996

Had featured roles in Jane Campion's "The Portrait of a Lady" and Scott Hicks' "Shine"

1996

Appeared briefly as Priam in Branagh's full-length filming of "Hamlet"

1994

Honored with the renaming of the Globe Theatre to the Gielgud Theatre

1994

Co-starred in the CBS miniseries "Scarlett"

1992

Starred in Kenneth Branagh's Oscar-nominated short "Swan Song"

1991

Played Prospero in "Prospero's Books", Peter Greenaway's experimental adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

1991

Received an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special for "Summer's Lease" (PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre")

1989

Made first honorary fellow of RADA on November 17

1988

Last appearance on stage in "The Best of Friends"; filmed in 1992

1988

Assumed the role of Aaron Jastrow (originated by John Houseman) in the ABC miniseries "War and Remembrance"

1986

Had title role in the syndicated TV-movie "The Canterville Ghost"

1982

Played Edward Ryder, father of Jeremy Irons' Charles Ryder, in the British miniseries "Brideshead Revisited" (shown on PBS in the USA)

1981

Won Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Arthur"

1979

Earned Grammy Award, Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording for "Ages of Man (Readings from Shakespeare)"

1978

American TV-movie debut, "Les Miserables"

1977

With Richardson, appeared in the stage production "No Man's Land"

1977

Host of short-lived TV series, "The Pallisers"

1974

Co-starred in the ABC miniseries "QB VII"

1974

Was featured in the all-star cast of Sidney Lumet's "Murder on the Orient Express"

1973

Debut in a US TV miniseries, "Frankenstein: The True Story"

1972

Published "Distinguished Company"

1969

Co-starred with Ralph Richardson in David Storey's "Home" on the London stage and on Broadway

1969

Had title role in feature version of "Julius Caesar"

1969

Returned to American TV after 15 year absence as the Ghost of Hamlet's father in "Hamlet"

1967

Played Henry IV in Orson Welles' "Chimes at Midnight", adapted from Shakespeare's "Henry IV, Parts I and II"

1965

Co-starred in the Broadway production of Edward Albee's "Tiny Alice"

1964

Directed modern dress version of "Hamlet" on Broadway starring Richard Burton; filmed for theatrical release; Burton's contract stipulated that the film would be desstroyed after its initial release, but at least two copies are extant

1963

Published "Stage Directions"

1961

Broadway directing debut, "Big Fish, Little Fish"

1955

Had featured role in Laurence Olivier's "Richard III"; first time Gielgud, Olivier and Ralph Richardson appeared in the same film

1953

Arrested in October for "importuning"

1953

First appearance in a feature after 12-year absence, "Julius Caesar"

1953

Knighted by Queen Elizabeth

1948

Won first Tony for "The Importance of Being Earnest"

1939

Published "Early Stages"

1937

Took over Queen's Theatre and launched his own company

1932

Feature debut in a sound film, "Insult"

1929

Joined Old Vic Theatre Company

1928

Made New York acting debut, "The Patriot"

1924

Feature debut in a silent film, "Who Is The Man?"

1921

Stage acting debut at Old Vic with one-line role in "Henry V"

American TV debut on "DuPont Show of the Month" in the late 1950s

Made final screen appearance opposite Harold Pinter in "Catastrophe", a Samuel Beckett play directed for TV by David Mamet; filmed on Gielgud's 96th birthday in 2000

Bonus Trivia

.

Gielgud was one of only eight individuals (Rita Moreno, Richard Rodgers, Audrey Hepburn, Helen Hayes, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks and Mike Nichols are the others) to have won all four of the major entertainment awards (Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy) in competition.

.

The Globe Theater was renamed the Gielgud in October 1994, in tribute to his 90th birthday.

.

Holds honorary Doctorates of Law at St. Andrew's University and Brandeis University (also a Brandeis University Companion), a Doctor of Literature at Oxford, and is a Chevalier of France's Legion d'Honneur

.

In 1996, Gielgud received the Order of Merit from Queen Elizabeth II. He is only the second actor ever to be so honored.

.

Alec Guinness described Gielgud's voice as "a silver trumpet muffled in silk."

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