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Alec Guinness Net Worth, Biography, Wiki in 2017-2016

How rich was Alec Guinness de Cuffe?

Alec Guinness de Cuffe net worth:
$100 Million

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Alec Guinness Net Worth, Biography, Wiki 2017-2016

Alec Guinness de Cuffe was born on 2 April 1914, in Marylebone, London, England, to mother Agnes Cuffe. He was an English actor, probably best known for his roles in films such as “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, “Dr. Zhivago”, “Hitler: The Last Ten Days” and “Star Wars”. He passed away from liver cancer in 2000.

A famous actor, how wealthy was Alec Guinness? Sources state that Guinness had established a net worth of over $100 million, acquired during his long career as an actor, and also through sales of his autobiographies.

Alec Guinness Net Worth $100 Million

Guinness was raised by his mother in Maida Vale north London – his father’s identity is unknown. He attended a public school at Fettes College, his education being paid by a Scottish banker Andrew Geddes, whom Guinness believed was his father. His mother later married a British soldier, but the marriage didn’t last long. Upon matriculating in 1932, Guinness worked as an apprentice copywriter in a local ad company, but then received a scholarship to the Fay Compton Studio of Dramatic Art, and made his stage debut in 1934 with “Queer Cargo”. He played classic roles at the Old Vic theater from 1936, appearing in various major stage productions such as “Hamlet”, “Thunder Rock”, “Richard II”, “The Merchant of Venice”, “Romeo and Juliet”, “Twelfth Night”, “Henry V”, “The Tempest” and many others, before enlisting in the Royal Navy with the beginning of World War II. During this time, he appeared in the Broadway production of “Flare Path”.

As the war ended, Guinness returned to the Old Vic and performed in “The Alchemist”, “King Lear”, “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Richard II”, and went on to appear in “An Inspector Calls”, “The Cocktail Party”, “Hamlet” and “Richard III”. His performance in “Dylan” earned him a Tony Award. Guinness’ last performance in theater was the 1989 play “A Walk in the Woods”. His numerous stage performances greatly added to his net worth.

Guinness made his film debut with David Lean’s 1946 film “Great Expectations”, in which he played Herbert Pocket. In 1948 he took the role of Fagin in Lean’s “Oliver Twist” and the following year he played a total of eight characters, including women, in the film “Kind Hearts and Coronets”. Paving his way to stardom, the actor went on to appear in ’50s films such as “The Lavender Hill Mob”, “The Ladykillers”, “The Swan”, “The Card” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai”, another film by Lean, for which Guinness won a Best Actor Oscar and a Golden Globe. The following year he was nominated for Oscar as a screenwriter for the satirical film “The Horse’s Mouth”. Several other roles followed, and Guinness established himself as a recognized figure in the film industry. His collaboration with Lean continued through the 60s, with his roles as Prince Faisal in “Lawrence of Arabia”, Bolshevik leader General Yevgraf Zhivago in “Doctor Zhivago” and later as Professor Godbole in “A Passage to India”, all acclaimed and adding considerably to his net worth.

One of Guinness’ best performances was his title role in the ’70s film “Hitler: The Last Ten Days”. During this time, he also appeared in the television series “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “Smiley’s People”, roles which brought him two British Academy Television Awards for Best Actor. However, Guinness is perhaps best known at that time for his role as Obi-Wan (Ben) Kenobi in the 1977 film “Star Wars”; the film became a worldwide sensation and a massive success at the box office, with Guinness earned recognition from at least two generations of audience, and also a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He went on to appear in the film’s equally successful sequels in the early 80s, “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”. With his portrayal of the Jedi knight, Guinness’ net worth was significantly boosted.

Aside from his acting career, Guinness wrote three volumes of autobiography, the 1985 “Blessings in Disguise”, the 1996 “My Name Escapes Me” and the 1999 “A Positively Final Appearance”. All three books were best-sellers that improved Guinness’ fortune.

The actor had won numerous other awards and honors, such as Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony and BAFTA awards. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to arts and received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star.

In his private life, Guinness was married to artist, playwright and actress Merula Sylvia Salaman from 1938 until his death from liver cancer in 2000 in West Sussex. Their son is actor Matthew Guinness.


More about Alec Guinness de Cuffe:

  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Facts
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Interview Day 1996 TV Movie James
Mute Witness 1995 The Reaper (as Mystery Guest Star)
Screen One 1993 TV Series Amos
Performance 1992 TV Series Heinrich Mann
Kafka 1991 The Chief Clerk
A Handful of Dust 1988 Mr. Todd
Little Dorrit 1987 William Dorrit
Great Performances 1987 TV Series Father Quixote
Edwin 1984 TV Movie Sir Fennimore Truscott
A Passage to India 1984 Godbole
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi 1983 Ben 'Obi-Wan' Kenobi
Lovesick 1983 Sigmund Freud
Smiley's People 1982 TV Mini-Series George Smiley
The Morecambe & Wise Show 1980 TV Series Psychiatrist / Himself
Little Lord Fauntleroy 1980 TV Movie Earl of Dorincourt
Raise the Titanic 1980 John Bigalow
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 1980 Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 1979 TV Mini-Series George Smiley
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope 1977 Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi
Murder by Death 1976 Bensonmum
Caesar and Cleopatra 1976 TV Movie Julius Caesar
The Gift of Friendship 1974 TV Movie Jocelyn Broome
Hitler: The Last Ten Days 1973 Adolf Hitler
Brother Sun, Sister Moon 1972 Pope Innocent III
Scrooge 1970 Jacob Marley's Ghost
Cromwell 1970 King Charles 'Stuart' I
ITV Saturday Night Theatre 1970 TV Series Malvolio
Thirty-Minute Theatre 1969 TV Series The Executioner
The Comedians 1967 Major H. O. Jones
The Quiller Memorandum 1966 Pol
Hotel Paradiso 1966 Benedict Boniface
Doctor Zhivago 1965 Yevgraf
Situation Hopeless... But Not Serious 1965 Wilhelm Frick
The Fall of the Roman Empire 1964 Marcus Aurelius
Lawrence of Arabia 1962 Prince Feisal
Damn the Defiant! 1962 Captain Crawford
A Majority of One 1961 Koichi Asano
Tunes of Glory 1960 Major Jock Sinclair, D.S.O., M.M.
Our Man in Havana 1959 Jim Wormold
Startime 1959 TV Series Jebal Deeks
The Scapegoat 1959 John Barratt / Jacques De Gue
The Horse's Mouth 1958 Gulley Jimson
All at Sea 1957 Capt. William Horatio Ambrose
The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 Colonel Nicholson
The Swan 1956 Prince Albert
The Ladykillers 1955 Professor Marcus
Baker's Dozen 1955 TV Movie The Major
The Prisoner 1955 The Cardinal
To Paris with Love 1955 Col. Sir Edgar Fraser
The Detective 1954 Father Brown
Malta Story 1953 Flight Lt. Peter Ross
The Captain's Paradise 1953 Captain Henry St. James
The Promoter 1952 Edward Henry 'Denry' Machin
The Man in the White Suit 1951 Sidney Stratton
The Lavender Hill Mob 1951 Holland
The Mudlark 1950 Benjamin Disraeli
Last Holiday 1950 George Bird
A Run for Your Money 1949 Whimple
Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949 The D'Ascoyne Family: The Duke / The Banker / The Parson / ...
Oliver Twist 1948 Fagin
Great Expectations 1946 Herbert Pocket
Evensong 1934 Extra (W.W.I. soldier in concert audience) (uncredited)

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Scrooge 1970 performer: "See the Phantoms" - uncredited
The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 "Colonel Bogey March" 1914, uncredited

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Horse's Mouth 1958 screenplay

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Edición Especial Coleccionista 2014 TV Series in memory of - 2 episodes
Grace Kelly: The American Princess 1987 Video documentary thanks
The Stratford Adventure 1954 Documentary short acknowledgment: The National Film Board wishes to thank: for their active interest and help in the production of the film - as Mr. Alec Guinness

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Starring Sigmund Freud 2012 Documentary short
Episode IV: Crew and Cast Interviews 2011 Video documentary short Himself
Q.E.D. 1994 TV Series documentary Himself - Narrator
Omnibus 1983-1994 TV Series documentary Himself
Film '72 1987 TV Series Himself - Guest
Late Night with David Letterman 1986 TV Series Himself - Guest
The London Standard Film Awards 1986 TV Special Himself
Apostrophes 1986 TV Series Himself
The South Bank Show 1985 TV Series documentary Himself
The 52nd Annual Academy Awards 1980 TV Special Himself - Honorary Award Recipient
Parkinson 1977 TV Series Himself - Guest
The Second Annual West End Theatre Awards 1977 TV Special Himself - Presenter
Making Star Wars 1977 TV Movie documentary Himself
Arena 1976 TV Series documentary Himself
Film Extra 1973 TV Mini-Series Himself
Tuesday's Documentary 1970 TV Series documentary Himself
Solo 1970 TV Series Himself - Reader
The Comedians in Africa 1967 Documentary short Himself (uncredited)
Pasternak 1965 Documentary short Himself
The Ed Sullivan Show 1964 TV Series Himself - Guest
The 18th Annual Tony Awards 1964 TV Special Himself - Winner: Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
Eye on New York 1964 TV Series Herself
Farewell to the Vic 1963 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Rise and Fall of a Jungle Giant 1958 Documentary short Himself
The Steve Allen Plymouth Show 1957 TV Series Himself - Set of "The Bridge on the River Kwai"
Rowlandson's England 1955 Documentary short Narrator
The Stratford Adventure 1954 Documentary short Himself
The Square Mile 1953 Documentary short Narrator (voice)

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Casting a Classic 2008 Video short Godbole
5 Second Movies 2008 TV Series Obi-Wan Kenobi
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga 2007 Video Game Obi-Wan Kenobi (uncredited)
British Film Forever 2007 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself
On the Lot 2007 TV Series
Hitler: The Comedy Years 2007 TV Movie documentary Adolf Hitler (uncredited)
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy 2006 Video Game Obi-Wan Kenobi (uncredited)
Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters 2006 Documentary Col. Nicholson (uncredited)
Science of Star Wars 2005 TV Mini-Series documentary
Star Wars: Battlefront 2004 Video Game Ben Obi-Wan
When Star Wars Ruled the World 2004 TV Movie documentary Obi-Wan Kenobi
Empire of Dreams: The Story of the 'Star Wars' Trilogy 2004 Video documentary Himself / Obi-Wan Kenobi
Special interview footage with John le Carré and John Irvin 2004 Video documentary short George Smiley
Arena 1995-2003 TV Series documentary Himself / Various Roles
The Making of 'Lawrence of Arabia' 2003 Video documentary Himself
Heroes of Comedy 1997-2002 TV Series documentary
R2-D2: Beneath the Dome 2001 TV Special short Himself (uncredited)
Legends 2001 TV Series documentary Himself
The 73rd Annual Academy Awards 2001 TV Special Himself (Memorial Tribute)
The Orange British Academy Film Awards 2001 TV Special Himself (Memorial Tribute)
The Making of 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' 2000 Video documentary Himself
Biography 2000 TV Series documentary Captain Henry St. James
'Doctor Zhivago': The Making of a Russian Epic 1995 TV Special documentary Himself
Memories of 1970-1991 1991 TV Series documentary Himself
The 61st Annual Academy Awards 1989 TV Special William Dorrit
Grace Kelly: The American Princess 1987 Video documentary Himself (tells the tomahawk story) (uncredited)
The Golden Gong 1985 TV Movie documentary
Star Wars 1983 Video Game Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Star Wars Holiday Special 1978 TV Movie Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (uncredited)
To See Such Fun 1977 Documentary Himself
Lionpower from MGM 1967 Short Major H. O. Jones (uncredited)
The Geisha Boy 1958 Himself (uncredited)
MGM Parade 1956 TV Series Prince Albert
Richard E. Grant on Ealing Comedies 2016 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself
Nostalgia Critic 2016 TV Series Obi-Wan Kenobi
The Drunken Peasants 2015-2016 TV Series Obi-Wan Kenobi Obi Wan Kenobi
Star Wars: Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel 2015 TV Movie documentary Himself
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens 2015 Obi-Wan Kenobi (uncredited)
Film '72 2015 TV Series Himself - Interviewee
Welcome to the Basement 2015 TV Series Himself / Fagin
Inside Edition 2015 TV Series documentary Himself
Pioneers of Television 2014 TV Mini-Series documentary Koichi Asano - Film A Majority of One
Edición Especial Coleccionista 2014 TV Series Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi
America's Book of Secrets 2013 TV Series documentary Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi
Prophets of Science Fiction 2012 TV Series documentary Obi-Wan Kenobi
20 to 1 2006-2010 TV Series documentary Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi Obi-Wan Kenobi
The South Bank Show 2010 TV Series documentary Himself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2001 OFTA Film Hall of Fame Online Film & Television Association Acting
1996 Lifetime Achievement Award European Film Awards
1995 Special Award Evening Standard British Film Awards
1991 BFI Fellowship British Film Institute Awards
1990 Special Achievement Award London Critics Circle Film Awards
1989 Academy Fellowship BAFTA Awards
1988 Honorary Golden Berlin Bear Berlin International Film Festival
1988 LAFCA Award Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Supporting Actor Little Dorrit (1987)
1987 Gala Tribute Film Society of Lincoln Center
1983 BAFTA TV Award BAFTA Awards Best Actor Smiley's People (1982)
1980 Honorary Award Academy Awards, USA For advancing the art of screen acting through a host of memorable and distinguished performances.
1980 BAFTA TV Award BAFTA Awards Best Actor Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)
1980 Broadcasting Press Guild Award Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Best Actor Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979)
1979 Evening Standard British Film Award Evening Standard British Film Awards Best Actor Star Wars (1977)
1978 Saturn Award Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA Best Supporting Actor Star Wars (1977)
1967 KCFCC Award Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor The Comedians (1967)
1961 Sant Jordi Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Actor (Mejor Actor Extranjero) The Horse's Mouth (1958)
1960 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Motion Picture On 8 February 1960. At 1559 Vine Street.
1959 Sant Jordi Sant Jordi Awards Best Foreign Actor (Mejor Actor Extranjero) The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Leading Role The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Actor - Drama The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best British Actor The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958 Volpi Cup Venice Film Festival Best Actor The Horse's Mouth (1958)
1958 New Cinema Award Venice Film Festival Best Actor The Horse's Mouth (1958)
1957 NBR Award National Board of Review, USA Best Actor The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1957 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1952 Silver Ribbon Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists Best Foreign Actor (Migliore Attore Straniero) The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
1951 Gold Medal Picturegoer Awards Best Actor The Mudlark (1950)
1950 NBR Award National Board of Review, USA Best Actor Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1989 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Supporting Role Little Dorrit (1987)
1989 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Little Dorrit (1987)
1986 BAFTA TV Award BAFTA Awards Best Actor Great Performances (1971)
1983 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Special Smiley's People (1982)
1978 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Supporting Role Star Wars (1977)
1978 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion Picture Star Wars (1977)
1961 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best British Actor Tunes of Glory (1960)
1960 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor (Lead or Support) Startime (1959)
1960 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best British Screenplay The Horse's Mouth (1958)
1959 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium The Horse's Mouth (1958)
1956 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best British Actor The Prisoner (1955)
1953 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Leading Role The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

2nd place awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1989 NSFC Award National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA Best Supporting Actor Little Dorrit (1987)
1988 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor Little Dorrit (1987)
1958 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Dramatic Performance The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
1958 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor The Horse's Mouth (1958)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1959 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Comedy Performance The Horse's Mouth (1958)
1955 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor The Prisoner (1955)
1950 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

TitleSalary
Little Dorrit (1987) £180,000
Star Wars (1977) $150,000 + 2 1/4% of profits
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) £6,000
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) £6,000

#Fact
1 Guinness had a 2.25% interest in the revenue from Star Wars, which would be the highest grossing movie at the time (and second only to Gone With the Wind when adjusted for inflation). Guinness had agreed to a 2% interest to make the film, but he reported that just before release during a telephone conversation George Lucas had offered an additional 0.5% because of how supportive and helpful Guinness had been (with dialogue, other actors, etc.). After the release and stunning results at the box office, Guinness asked to confirm the additional 0.5% in writing, but was told it was (reduced to) 0.25%, although it is not clear who had decided this. This was revealed by Guinness in the 1977 interview with BBC's Michael Parkinson on the series Talking Pictures. It was in general supported by many public comments by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher all speaking highly of Guinness' professionalism and impact on the set. Apparently Guinness did not quibble- the 1977 worldwide revenue for Star Wars of $400+ million making Guinness' 2.25% probably around $9m for that year alone, with additional revenue well into 1979. In comparison that exceeds other British actor high-water marks for Sean Connery and Roger Moore in the 1970's playing James Bond ($1m salary + $3-5m depending on revenue interests per film e.g. 5-12%).
2 His name is an anagram for "genuine class", a fact which was mentioned in The Simpsons: Lisa's Rival (1994).
3 Although he played Christopher Plummer's father in The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), he was only fifteen years his senior in real life.
4 The 2003 book "Alec Guinness: The Authorised Biography" reprints several letters that Guinness wrote to his longtime friend and correspondent Anne Kaufman in which he expressed his displeasure with and dubiousness about the quality of Star Wars as it was in production. Before filming started, he wrote: "I have been offered a movie (20th Century Fox) which I may accept, if they come up with proper money. London and North Africa, starting in mid-March. Science fiction--which gives me pause--but is to be directed by Paul [sic] Lucas who did American Graffiti, which makes me feel I should. Big part. Fairy-tale rubbish but could be interesting perhaps. Then after filming started, he wrote to Kaufman again to complain about the dialogue and describe his co-stars: new rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper--and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable. I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me keep going until next April. I must off to studio and work with a dwarf (very sweet--and he has to wash in a bidet) and your fellow countrymen Mark Hamill and Tennyson (that can't be right) Ford. Ellison (?--No!)--well, a rangy, languid young man who is probably intelligent and amusing. But Oh, God, God, they make me feel ninety--and treat me as if I was 106. Oh, [the actor's name is] Harrison Ford--ever heard of him?".
5 Had appeared in two Best Picture Academy Award winners: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) and Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Jack Hawkins also appeared in both films.
6 Great-grandfather of Natasha Guinness-Taylor and Otis Guinness-Walker.
7 His experiences with the Royal Navy involved shipping supplies to Yugoslav partisans during World War II.
8 After Guinness won a two year scholarship from a dramatic academy, John Gielgud, one of the competition judges, offered him a role in his production of "Hamlet" in 1934.
9 At a young age, Guinness received acting lessons from Martita Hunt, who dismissed him after two lessons, telling him he would never be an actor although lessons were resumed at a later date.
10 His stepfather fought in the Anglo-Irish War.
11 Though knighted, he did not like being referred to as Sir Alec Guinness.
12 He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1559 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
13 He preferred working on stage to appearing in films. He also preferred appearing in newer plays rather than the classics, so that his performance would not be compared to how previous actors had played the role.
14 Has appeared in several of David Lean's movies. In them, he has portrayed Englishmen, an Arab, a Russian and an Indian.
15 Was considered by producer Hal B. Wallis for the lead role in Visit to a Small Planet (1960) at the same time with Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis, the last one eventually getting the role.
16 Upon notification that he was to achieve a lifetime achievement Oscar, he was not keen but expressed thanks. He informed the Academy that there was no way he would even consider flying to California to pick up this award. Academy President Fay Kanin, asked Dustin Hoffman who was doing promotional work from Kramer vs. Kramer in London, to meet with Guinness and persuade him to attend. As both men had very similar attitudes to their past work, Guinness warmed up to the idea and agreed to attend.
17 During his service in the Royal Navy, he commanded a landing craft invading Sicily and Elba, and helped to supply soldiers in Yugoslavia.
18 Favorite actor of both David Lean and Ronald Neame. Had worked on many of both director's films.
19 According to playwright Neil Simon, Alec was reading the script for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) while on set filming Murder by Death (1976) and commented that Star Wars may be a "good one".
20 While filming The Swan (1956) in Hollywood, he met James Dean, just days before the young actor's death. Sir Alec later recalled predicting that Dean would die in a car crash: when Dean showed Guinness his newly-bought Porsche, Guinness advised him to "Get rid of that car, or you'll be dead in a week!". Guinness unfortunately proved right.
21 Had played the role of Osric in John Gielgud's theatrical production of "Hamlet" in 1934. In Laurence Olivier's 1948 film version, this role was played by Peter Cushing, with whom Guinness appeared years later in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977). The film was also Cushing's first collaboration with future Star Wars cast member Christopher Lee.
22 He was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of his outstanding contribution to film culture.
23 Guinness was a member of the Old Vic group organized by John Gielgud in the early 1930s, which also included, among others, Jack Hawkins, Anthony Quayle and Peggy Ashcroft.
24 Contrary to popular rumors, he did not hate working on the Star Wars films. What he hated was the fact that many of the Star Wars fans would only ever remember him as Obi-Wan Kenobi despite all the success of his previous roles.
25 Is the only person to receive a best acting nomination in any of the Star Wars movies.
26 Had his first speaking role on the professional stage in the melodrama "Queer Cargo" (he did not appear in the film). At age 20, the tyro actor played a Chinese coolie in the first act, a French pirate in Act 2 and a British sailor in Act 3, a foreshadowing of the shapeshifting he would do in his cinema career, where he once played as many as eight roles in a single film (Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)).
27 In the last year of his life, Sir Alec had been receiving hospital treatment for failing eyesight due to glaucoma, and he had been diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer in January 2000. By the time his liver cancer was discovered in July 2000, it was at an extremely advanced stage, making surgery impossible.
28 Was the subject of a cover story in Time magazine for the week of April 21, 1958, shortly after he won the Best Actor Oscar for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957).
29 Had played the Fool to Laurence Olivier's first King Lear under the direction of Tyrone Guthrie in 1946 when he was 31 and Olivier was 39. Olivier was generally considered less-than-successful in the part due to his youth and relative lack of maturity in classical parts (though his contemporaneous "Henry V" was a smash and hinted at his future greatness as an interpreter of William Shakespeare). However, Guinness received raves for his acting. Both actors went on to knighthoods and Best Actor Oscars in their long and distinguished careers.
30 Went bald on top, and according to his Time magazine cover story of April 21, 1958, he was embarrassed by it but chose not to wear a hairpiece in private life. He told the Time writer that he had shaved the top of his head as a young man in his first professional acting engagement, playing a coolie. It never grew back properly after that, he lamented.
31 In his autobiographical volumes, Guinness wrote about an incident at the Old Vic when, in the company of National Theater (which originally played at the Old Vic) artistic director Laurence Olivier in the basement of the theater, he asked where a certain tunnel went. Olivier did not really know but confidently decided to take the tunnel as it must come out somewhere nearby, it being part of the Old Vic. In reality, the tunnel went under the Thames, and they were rescued after several hours of fruitless navigation of the dark, damp corridor. Guinness remarked that Olivier's willingness to plunge into the dark and unknown was characteristic of the type of person (and actor) he was. As for himself as an actor, Guinness lamented at times that he did not take enough chances.
32 In certain prints of The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), a film in which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, his last name is misspelled "Guiness".
33 Was considered for the role of Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express (1974), which went to Albert Finney.
34 Celebrated his 62nd birthday during the filming of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) in Tunisia, where the Tatooine scenes were filmed.
35 Despite being two of Britain's most distinguished actors of their generation, he appeared in only two films with John Mills: Great Expectations (1946) and Tunes of Glory (1960).
36 Had appeared with Kay Walsh in five films: Oliver Twist (1948), Last Holiday (1950), The Horse's Mouth (1958), Tunes of Glory (1960) and Scrooge (1970).
37 Following his death, he was interred at Petersfield Cemetery in Petersfield, Hampshire, England.
38 Both he and his wife, Merula Salaman, converted to the Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s.
39 Won Broadway's 1964 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "Dylan", in which he played the title character, poet Dylan Thomas.
40 Harrison Ford said that Guinness helped him find an apartment to stay at when he arrived in England to film Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
41 George Lucas said Guinness was very patient and helpful to him during the filming of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), even to the point of getting the other actors to work more seriously.
42 One of his last jobs was providing the voice (his first and only voice-over) for a cartoon character on a British television ad campaign by the Inland Revenue advising the public about the new tax return forms which were to be introduced. He said in his diary of the recording (made on March 30, 1995) "I did it feebly.".
43 A heavy smoker for most of his life, he finally managed to give up the habit in his last years.
44 His favourite hotel in London was the Connaught, in which he always stayed whenever visiting the city.
45 Reportedly answered one Star Wars fan's boast that he had seen the first movie over a hundred times, with a nod and the words "Promise me you'll never watch it again.". The boy was stunned, but his mother thanked Guinness.
46 Though he often spoke critically of Star Wars, the three leads, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, have always spoken very fondly of him, praising him as being a very professional actor who was always respectful to the people he worked with.
47 Ewan McGregor was not the only actor in the Star Wars prequels to study his performances. The voice for the character Watto was modeled after Guinness's performance as Fagin in Oliver Twist (1948).
48 Has been succeeded in two of his roles by actors from Trainspotting (1996). Guinness portrayed Adolf Hitler in Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973). Robert Carlyle portrayed Adolf Hitler in Hitler: The Rise of Evil (2003), while Ewan McGregor succeeded him in the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
49 Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith, pg. 198-199. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387.
50 He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Special Award in 1989 (1988 season) for his outstanding contributions to West End Theatre.
51 Had starred as Eric Birling alongside Sir Ralph Richardson in the first-ever showing of "An Inspector Calls" at the New Theatre in London on October 1, 1946.
52 Was a Grammy nominee in 1964, in the Spoken Word category, for the album "Alec Guinness: A Personal Choice" (RCA Victor Red Seal: 1964), on which he read a selection of his favorite poems.
53 Received an honorary D.Litt degree from Oxford University in 1977 and an honorary D.Litt degree from Cambridge University in 1991.
54 His films were studied by Ewan McGregor in preparation for his role as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) to ensure accuracy in everything from his accent to the pacing of his words.
55 In his last book of memoirs, "A Positively Final Appearance", he expressed a devotion to the television series The Simpsons (1989).
56 His widow, Merula Salaman, died on October 17, 2000, just two months after her husband.
57 He made his final stage appearance at the Comedy Theatre in London on May 30, 1989, in a production called "A Walk in the Woods", where he played a Russian diplomat.
58 The qualities he claimed to most admire in an actor were "simplicity, purity, clarity of line".
59 He was voted third in the Orange Film 2001 survey of greatest British film actors.
60 Despite popular belief, he never uttered the line "May the force be with you" in any of the Star Wars films (the closest he came was "the force will be with you").
61 He was a huge fan of the television series Due South (1994).
62 He was awarded Knight Bachelor in the 1959 Queen's New Year Honours List for his services to drama.
63 He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in the 1955 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
64 He was awarded the Companion of Honour in the 1994 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to drama.
65 "de Cuffe" is his mother's surname; he never knew the identity of his father (source: obituary, Daily Telegraph, 7 August 2000).
66 He was one of the last surviving members of a great generation of British actors, which included Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir John Gielgud and Sir Ralph Richardson.
67 Father of actor Matthew Guinness and grandfather of Sally Guinness.
68 Reportedly hated working on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) so much, Guinness claims that Obi-Wan's death was his idea as a means to limit his involvement in the film. Guinness also claims to throw away all Star Wars related fan mail without even opening it.

#Quote
1 [One day, director Ronald Neame found Guinness sulking in his dressing room, refusing to come to the set. According to Neame, Guinness felt he had not been stroked enough and explained] Actors are emotionally 14-year olds. We need to be chastised like children, and we need to be hugged and told we're doing fine work. We are the children who never grow up.
2 [on playing Gulley Jimson in The Horse's Mouth (1958)] I try to get inside a character and project him - one of my own private rules of thumb is that I have not got the character until I have mastered exactly how he walks.
3 [on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)] Can't say I'm enjoying the film. New rubbish dialogue reaches me every other day on wadges of pink paper - and none of it makes my character clear or even bearable. I just think, thankfully, of the lovely bread, which will help me to keep going until next April.
4 I can walk through a crowd and nobody would notice at all.
5 [on winning the Best Actor award for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)] No doorstop shenanigans for me. I'll put the Oscar on my mantel, which I realize makes very dull copy, except that I'll put a mirror on the mantel so that I'll get a view of Oscar's back too.
6 [on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: When it came to me in script form, I was in Hollywood on the last day of another movie and I heard it was a script by George Lucas, well that meant something; you know, American Graffiti (1973), this is a new generation, lovely. And then I opened it and saw it was science fiction and groaned, I thought "oh no, they've got the wrong man." I started to read it and I thought some of the dialogue was rather creaky, but I kept turning the pages, I wanted to know what happened next. Then I met George Lucas, fell for him, I thought he was a man of enormous integrity and bright and interesting, and I found myself involved and thank God I did.
7 [Asked if Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) had made him a fortune]: Yes, blessed be Star Wars. But two-thirds of that went to the Inland Revenue and a sizable sum on VAT. No complaints. Let me leave it by saying I can live for the rest of my life in the reasonably modest way I am now used to, that I have no debts and I can afford to refuse work that doesn't appeal to me.
8 [Asked if he was a rich man]: No, not rich. Compared to striking miners and workless actors very rich: compared to successful stockbrokers and businessmen I expect I would be considered nearly poor.
9 An actor is totally vulnerable. His total personality is exposed to critical judgment - his intellect, his bearing, his diction, his whole appearance. In short, his ego.
10 An actor is at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents.
11 [his diary entry after viewing Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) for the first time] It's a pretty staggering film as spectacle and technically brilliant. Exciting, very noisy and warmhearted. The battle scenes at the end go on for five minutes too long, I feel, and some of the dialogue is excruciating and much of it is lost in noise, but it remains a vivid experience.
12 [on Laurence Olivier after the death of the only acting peer of the realm] Olivier made me laugh more as an actor [in eccentric comedy parts] more than anyone else. In my case, I love him in comedy and am not always sure about him in tragedy.
13 I am always ashamed of the slowness of my reading. I think it stems from the fact that when I come across dialogue in a novel, I can't resist treating it as the text of a play and acting it out, with significant pauses and all.
14 Flamboyance doesn't suit me. I enjoy being elusive.
15 Essentially I'm a small part actor who's been lucky enough to play leading roles for most of his life.
16 [on The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)]: The original script was ridiculous, with elephant charges and girls screaming round in the jungle. When David Lean arrived, with a new screenwriter, it became a very different thing. I saw Nicholson as an effective part, without ever really believing in the character. However, it paid off; it was a huge success and I got an Oscar for it, though I don't think it made an enormous difference in my career.
17 The stage was my prime interest. I had no ambition to be a film actor, and a screen career seemed unlikely to come my way. I'd done a stage adaption of "Great Expectations" before the war and this had been seen by David Lean and Ronald Neame. I went into the navy during the war, and when I came out they were preparing their film [Great Expectations (1946)]. They remembered my performance on the stage and asked me if I'd go into their film as Herbert Pocket. I'd thought of film as a much greater mystery than the theater and I felt a need to begin in films with a character I knew something about.
18 [on his first lunch meeting with George Lucas]: I liked him. The conversation was divided culturally by 8,000 miles and 30 years; but I think we might understand each other if I can get past his intensity.
19 [while considering doing Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: Science fiction - which gives me pause - but it is to be directed by George Lucas, who did American Graffiti (1973), which makes me think I should. Big part. Fairytale rubbish, but could be interesting.
20 [on the performances in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: The only really disappointing performance was Anthony Daniels as the robot - fidgety and over-elaborately spoken. Not that any of the cast can stand up to the mechanical things around them.
21 [on media reports of his income from the Star Wars films]: The Times reports I've made £4.5 million in the past year. Where do they get such nonsense?
22 [during filming of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)]: Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young.
23 [To a group of reporters upon winning his Academy Award in 1958]: No doorstop shenanigans for me, boys. I have a nice mantel where I'm going to display it.
24 Personally, I have only one great regret - that I never *dared* enough. If at all.
25 An actor is an interpreter of other men's words, often a soul which wishes to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a vanity bag, a cool observer of mankind, a child and at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who, for an hour or two, can call on heaven and hell to mesmerize a group of innocents.
26 Getting to the theater on the early side, usually about seven o'clock, changing into a dressing-gown, applying make-up, having a chat for a few minutes with other actors and then, quite unconsciously, beginning to assume another personality which would stay with me (but mostly tucked inside) until curtain down, was all I required of life. I thought it bliss.
27 Once I've done a film, it's finished. I never look at it again.
28 I don't know what else I could do but pretend to be an actor.
29 I prefer full-length camera shots because the body can act better than the face.
30 I gave my best performances during the war, trying to be an officer and a gentleman.
31 [replying to a writer whose script he rejected, who sent him a note saying "We tailored it just for you"] But no one came to take measurements.
32 [in 1985 to The Guardian newspaper, on what he intends to do by the end of his life] A kind of little bow, tied on life. And I can see myself drifting off into eternity, or nothing, or whatever it may be, with all sorts of bits of loose string hanging out of my pocket. Why didn't I say this or do that, or why didn't I reconcile myself with someone? Or make sure that someone whom I like was all right in every way, either financially or, I don't know...
33 We live in an age of apologies. Apologies, false or true, are expected from the descendants of empire builders, slave owners, persecutors of heretics and from men who, in our eyes, just got it all wrong. So with the age of 85 coming up shortly, I want to make an apology. It appears I must apologize for being male, white and European.
34 Failure has a thousand explanations. Success doesn't need one.
35 I shrivel up every time someone mentions Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) to me.
36 [on how much he disliked working on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and his attempts to encourage George Lucas to kill off Obi-Wan Kenobi] And he agreed with me. What I didn't tell him was that I just couldn't go on speaking those bloody awful, banal lines. I'd had enough of the mumbo jumbo.

#Trademark
1 Deep smooth voice
2 Often worked with David Lean and Ronald Neame
3 Often played noble and fiercely proud leaders and authority figures
4 Known for playing multiple complex characters and changing his appearance to suit.
Source: Celebrity Images

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