Sir Alec Guinness
Sir Alec Guinness
by Arnold Newman
bromide print, 1978
18 3/4 in. x 12 1/2 in. (476 mm x 318 mm)
Given by The Sunday Times, 1980
Artistback to top
- Arnold Newman (1918-2006), Photographer. Artist of 62 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.
This portraitback to top
In the 1970s Guinness found a new audience with his portrayal of George Smiley in the television serialisation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and its 1981 sequel, Smiley’s People. He rose to international fame in 1977 with the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars which he reprised in The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983). In 1985 he published the first of three memoirs, Blessing in Disguise.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Perry, George, The Great British: Photographs by Arnold Newman, 1979 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 30 November 1979 - 11 May 1980), p. 19
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 267
Events of 1978back to top
Current affairsThe country is brought to a virtual standstill as workers in the private and public sector strike over the government's decision to restrict wage increases. As more workers joined the strikes rubbish piled up in the streets, petrol stations ran short, and storage space had to be hired for unburied coffins. The period became known as the 'winter of discontent'.
Art and scienceLouise Brown from Oldham in Greater Manchester becomes the world's first 'test-tube baby'. The 'in vitro' fertilisation procedure was a scientific breakthrough that has given thousands of infertile couples the opportunity to conceive.
Iris Murdoch wins the Booker prize with her novel. The Sea, the Sea.
InternationalKarol Józef Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II. He was the only Polish Pope and the first non-Italian Pontiff since the 16th century. During his 26-year pontificate, John Paul was recognised for his efforts to reach out to other religions and his fight against poverty and oppression. He has also, however, been criticised for his conservative attitudes towards divorce, contraception, homosexual marriage and the ordination of women priests.
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