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Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier (1907-1989), Actor, producer and director

Sitter associated with 109 portraits
Born in Dorking and educated at St Edward's School Oxford, he won a scholarship to the Central School, and in 1927 joined Birmingham Rep. Olivier established his reputation through Shakespearean stage roles and film performances including Heathcliffe in Wuthering Heights (1939) and Maxim de Winter in Rebecca (1940). He directed and starred in Henry V (1943-4), and became actor-manager of the Old Vic. He was knighted in 1947. He later formed his own company, directing and co-starring with his wife Vivien Leigh, and found equal success with contemporary theatre, particularly John Osborne's The Entertainer (1957). In 1962 he became the first director of the National Theatre.

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x137669

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in 'Romeo and Juliet'

by John Swope
tear sheet, 1940
On display in Room 33 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG x137669

x180372

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Paul Tanqueray
half-plate glass negative, 1942
NPG x180372

x45133

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1944
NPG x45133

x45135

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1944
NPG x45135

x45136

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1944
NPG x45136

x29992

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Unknown photographer
cibachrome print, 1945
NPG x29992

x194151

Laurence Olivier as Henry V in 'Henry V'

by Hans Wild
vintage print, 1946
NPG x194151

x137986

Hal Wallis and Ray Milland present Laurence Olivier with the Academy Award for 'Henry V' on the set of 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
vintage postcard print, 1 June 1947
NPG x137986

x45139

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1948
NPG x45139

x45140

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1948
NPG x45140

x45141

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1948
NPG x45141

x137987

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet and Jean Simmons as Ophelia in 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
vintage postcard print, 1948
NPG x137987

x137988

Jean Simmons as Ophelia and Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
vintage postcard print, 1948
NPG x137988

x137989

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
vintage postcard print, 1948
NPG x137989

x137992

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
vintage postcard print, 1948
NPG x137992

x137993

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet on the set of 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
vintage postcard print, 1948
NPG x137993

x193337

Eileen Herlie as the Queen and Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in 'Hamlet'

by Wilfrid Newton
photogravure reproduction tear sheet, published 24 March 1948
NPG x193337

x87128

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Walter Stoneman
half-plate glass negative, March 1950
NPG x87128

x87130

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by Walter Stoneman
half-plate glass negative, March 1950
NPG x87130