Search the Collection

Laurence Olivier

(1907-1989), Actor, producer and director

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

Sitter in 111 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.

Tell us More

List Thumbnail

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, Elisabeth Bergner and six actors, by Unknown photographer - NPG x45134

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, Elisabeth Bergner and six actors

by Unknown photographer
modern bromide print from original negative, 1936
NPG x45134

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier as Hamlet, by Angus McBean - NPG x127118

Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier as Hamlet

by Angus McBean
vintage bromide print mounted as a Christmas card, 1937
NPG x127118

Vivien Leigh; Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier, by James Abbe Jr - NPG x88923

Vivien Leigh; Laurence Kerr Olivier, Baron Olivier

by James Abbe Jr
toned vintage bromide print, 1939
NPG x88923

Tell us more back to top

Can you tell us more about this person? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license an image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.