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

Sitter in 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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x23969

Laurence Olivier as Mercutio in 'Romeo and Juliet'

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1936
NPG x23969

x23970

Laurence Olivier as Mercutio in 'Romeo and Juliet'

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1936
NPG x23970

x23971

Laurence Olivier as Mercutio in 'Romeo and Juliet'

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1936
NPG x23971

x137669

Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh in 'Romeo and Juliet'

by John Swope
tear sheet, 1940
NPG x137669

x139689

Vivien Leigh; Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier in 'That Hamilton Woman'

by Robert Coburn
modern bromide print from an original negative, 1941
NPG x139689

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

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

x137989

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
postcard print, 1948
NPG x137989

x137992

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet in 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
postcard print, 1948
NPG x137992

x137993

Laurence Olivier as Hamlet on the set of 'Hamlet'

by Unknown photographer
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