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Sir Laurence Oliver

             Sir Laurence Olivier was an actor who many consider to be the best in England and America. He based his career mostly in England, but also appeared in a number of Hollywood films. Olivier was well known for his Shakespeare performances. He was nominated for several awards as an actor, producer, and director. Oliver appeared in more than 120 stage roles, 60 films, and 15 television productions. .
             Olivier was born May 22, 1907. He was introduced to the arts at a young age. As a young boy he attended the Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art. He made his acting debut at the age of fifteen at the All Saints Choir School for boys. He played Katherine in the production on The Taming of the Shrew. He continued playing Shakespearean roles while in training. Olivier joined The Birmingham Repertory company in 1926. His breakthrough performance came in Noel Coward's Private Lives (1930). He was recognized by the American Film industry while he acted on Broadway. He played the lead in his first Hollywood movie, Yellow Ticket, in 1931. In 1939 he stared as Heathcliff in Wurthering Heights, following Rebecca and That Hamilton Woman, making Olivier an international matinee idol. In 1944 Olivier directed and produced, while starring in, Henry V, and doing the same in 1948 with his most famous role, Hamlet. Later, his performances as Hamlet, Sir Toby Belch, Macbeth, Henry V, Romeo, Iago, Coriocanus, and Mercutio earned him the reputation of a true Shakespearean actor. In 1957 he broke away from classical roles and achieved new success with his portrayal of the seedy, vaudevillian Archie Rice in The Entertainer. In 1962 Olivier was named actor-manager of the new National Theatre, where he appeared in a variety of plays, such as Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, August Strindberg's Dance of Death, and Anton Checkhov's Three Sisters. .
             Olivier was very successful in his career of acting, directing, and producing.

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