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Sir Alec Guinness

(1914-2000), Actor

Sitter associated with 33 portraits
A stage actor of distinction, in the late 1940s Alec Guinness extended his range to films and won acclaim with the eight roles he played in Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). A string of successes followed, including a number of Ealing Studio films. Notable roles included Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Dr Zhivago (1965). He became an international star when he reluctantly appeared as Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first three Star Wars films (1977-83). He is the author of three autobiographical works: Blessings in Disguise (1985), My Name Escapes Me (1996) and A Positively Final Appearance (1999).

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Sir Alec Guinness, by Lee Miller - NPG P1079

Sir Alec Guinness

by Lee Miller
modern archival-toned gelatin silver print from original negative, 1947
NPG P1079

Sir Alec Guinness, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(156)

Sir Alec Guinness

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(156)

Sir Alec Guinness, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(157)

Sir Alec Guinness

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(157)

Sir Alec Guinness, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(158)

Sir Alec Guinness

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(158)

Sir Alec Guinness, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(159)

Sir Alec Guinness

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(159)

Sir Alec Guinness, by Sir David Low - NPG 4529(160)

Sir Alec Guinness

by Sir David Low
pencil, 1952 or before
NPG 4529(160)

Sir Alec Guinness, by Arnold Newman - NPG P150(18)

Sir Alec Guinness

by Arnold Newman
bromide print, 1978
NPG P150(18)

Sir Alec Guinness, by Bern Schwartz - NPG P1177

Sir Alec Guinness

by Bern Schwartz
dye transfer print, 10 May 1978
NPG P1177

Sir Alec Guinness, by Lord Snowdon - NPG P1880

Sir Alec Guinness

by Lord Snowdon
gelatin silver print, 4 June 1979
NPG P1880

Sir Alec Guinness, by Elisabeth Frink - NPG 5721

Sir Alec Guinness

by Elisabeth Frink
bronze bust, 1984
NPG 5721

Sir Alec Guinness, by Derek Hill - NPG 6422

Sir Alec Guinness

by Derek Hill
oil on board, 1998
NPG 6422

John Gielgud; Sir Alec Guinness, by Howard Coster - NPG x14507

John Gielgud; Sir Alec Guinness

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1935
NPG x14507

The cast of 'As You Like It', by Madame Yevonde - NPG x11654

The cast of 'As You Like It'

by Madame Yevonde
Vivex colour print on card mount, 1936-1937
NPG x11654

Sir Alec Guinness as Hamlet, by Angus McBean - NPG x127700

Sir Alec Guinness as Hamlet

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print, 1938
NPG x127700

Sir Alec Guinness, by Gordon Anthony - NPG x40997

Sir Alec Guinness

by Gordon Anthony
bromide print, 1946
NPG x40997

Sir Alec Guinness, by Gordon Anthony - NPG x44753

Sir Alec Guinness

by Gordon Anthony
bromide fibre print, 1946
NPG x44753

Sir Alec Guinness, by Gordon Anthony - NPG x137052

Sir Alec Guinness

by Gordon Anthony
vintage print, 1946
NPG x137052

Sir Alec Guinness, by Anthony Buckley - NPG x75962

Sir Alec Guinness

by Anthony Buckley
modern bromide print from original negative, 1948
NPG x75962

Sir Alec Guinness as Hamlet, by Cecil Beaton - NPG x14092

Sir Alec Guinness as Hamlet

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print on white card mount, 1951
NPG x14092

Sir Alec Guinness, by Cornel Lucas - NPG x23302

Sir Alec Guinness

by Cornel Lucas
bromide print, 1954
NPG x23302

Sir Alec Guinness, by Lord Snowdon - NPG x45959

Sir Alec Guinness

by Lord Snowdon
bromide print, 1955
NPG x45959

The Ladykillers, by Hal Hanscombe - NPG x88519

The Ladykillers

by Hal Hanscombe
modern bromide print, 1955
NPG x88519

Sir Alec Guinness; Merula Silvia (née Salaman), Lady Guinness; Matthew Guinness, by Jimmy Wilds, for  Keystone Press Agency Ltd - NPG x184385

Sir Alec Guinness; Merula Silvia (née Salaman), Lady Guinness; Matthew Guinness

by Jimmy Wilds, for Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, 31 July 1957
NPG x184385

Sir Alec Guinness, by Keystone Press Agency Ltd - NPG x194425

Sir Alec Guinness

by Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, 1 January 1959
NPG x194425

Sir Alec Guinness, by Derek Allen - NPG x45667

Sir Alec Guinness

by Derek Allen
blue-toned bromide print, 1960
NPG x45667

Sir Alec Guinness; Simon Ward, by Lewis Morley - NPG x125185

Sir Alec Guinness; Simon Ward

by Lewis Morley
toned bromide print, 1967
NPG x125185

'Cromwell' (Dame Dorothy Tutin as Henrietta Maria; Sir Alec Guinness as King Charles I; Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell), by Eric William Pulford, and  Arnaldo Putzu, printed by  Lonsdale & Bartholomew (Nottingham) Ltd, published by  National Screen Service Ltd - NPG D48110

'Cromwell' (Dame Dorothy Tutin as Henrietta Maria; Sir Alec Guinness as King Charles I; Richard Harris as Oliver Cromwell)

by Eric William Pulford, and Arnaldo Putzu, printed by Lonsdale & Bartholomew (Nottingham) Ltd, published by National Screen Service Ltd
colour offset lithograph poster, 1971
NPG D48110

Web image not currently available

John Gielgud; Sir Alec Guinness

by Howard Coster
half-plate film negative, 1935
NPG x14501

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Sir Alec Guinness

by Bill Brandt
bromide print on card mount, 1952
NPG x22430

Image currently unavailable owing to copyright restrictions

Sir Alec Guinness

by Bill Brandt
bromide print on card mount, 1952
NPG x9230

Web image not currently available

Sir Alec Guinness

by Arnold Newman
bromide print, 1978
NPG x24441

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