22.05.

1907: Laurence Olivier – The First Actor to Receive the Title of Lord

1907: Laurence Olivier – The First Actor to Receive the Title of Lord
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Photo of Sir Laurence Olivier, Marilyn Monroe and Susan Strasberg

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 22 May 1907
  • The father of Lord Olivier was an Anglican priest, as was Olivier's uncle (his mother's brother). On the big screen, Olivier portrayed famous historical figures such as Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, General Douglas MacArthur, and Rudolf Hess.

On this day in 1907, the renowned British actor Laurence Olivier was born. 

He was one of the most awarded actors of the 20th century, and received nine Academy Award nominations for Best Actor. Laurence Olivier was the youngest actor who was knighted in the UK, and was the first actor ever who was given the title of Lord. In fact, in 1970 he received the aristocratic title “Baron Olivier, of Brighton in the County of Sussex”. In the UK, a baron is addressed with the title of Lord, so Lawrence was made “Lord Olivier”.

Lord Olivier was a successful actor on stage and screen. On the big screen, Olivier portrayed famous historical figures such as Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, General Douglas MacArthur, and Rudolf Hess. It is interesting that Olivier also played the character of Professor Moriarty in a screen adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, and the character of Professor Abraham Van Helsing in the adaptation of Dracula from 1979.

Olivier’s performances in Shakespeare’s plays were of great artistic significance. In films based on Shakespeare’s works, Olivier starred as Hamlet, Macbeth, Richard III, Henry V, and Othello.

Lord Olivier lived to be 82 years of age and died in 1989 in England. He was buried in the famous Westminster Abbey in London. Interestingly, the father of Lord Olivier was an Anglican priest, as was Olivier’s uncle (his mother’s brother).

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