Died Today (July 11th): Laurence Olivier (1907–1989)

Laurence Olivier (1907–1989).jpgDate of Birth 22 May 1907, Dorking, Surrey, England, UK
Date of Death 11 July 1989, Steyning, West Sussex, England, UK (renal failure)
Birth Name Laurence Kerr Olivier
Nicknames Larry
Kim
Height 5′ 10″ (1.78 m)

[on needing to reshoot their torture scene in Marathon Man (1976) because Method actor Dustin Hoffman had gotten excessively drunk the first time so he’d look really out of it] Oh, why doesn’t he just *act*?

[on Marlon Brando] Brando acted with an empathy and an instinctual understanding that not even the greatest technical performers could possibly match.

[on Marilyn Monroe] Look at that face – she could be five years old.

People ask me why I’m playing in this picture. The answer is simple. Money, dear boy. I’m like a vintage wine. You have to drink me quickly before I turn sour. I’m almost used up now and I can feel the end coming. That’s why I’m taking money now. I’ve got nothing to leave my family but the money I can make from films. Nothing is beneath me if it pays well. I’ve earned the right to damn well grab whatever I can in the time I’ve got left.

[In 1983] If you’re 75, which I am, it’s damned hard to find parts. Lear is the only star part for an old man that I know of – I’ve never heard of a good play about Methusaleh. I played the title role only once before the Old Vic. I was 39. When you’re younger, Lear doesn’t feel real. When you get to my age, you ‘are’ Lear in every nerve of your body.

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