John Gielgud Overview:

Legendary actor, John Gielgud, was born Arthur John Gielgud on Apr 14, 1904 in South Kensington, England. Gielgud died at the age of 96 on May 21, 2000 in Wotton Underwood, England and was laid to rest in Oxford Crematorium Cemetery in Headington, England.

MINI BIO:

Tall, slim, stern-looking British actor who achieved greatest distinction in Shakespearian roles on stage. He appeared briefly as an aesthetic leading man in a few pre-war films, but most post-war parts were cameos that were unworthy both of the actor and his reedily mellifluous voice. Knighted in 1953. Won an Academy Award for Arthur. Also nominated for Becket. The longest film career in the history of the British cinema to date.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Stars).

HONORS and AWARDS:

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John Gielgud was nominated for two Academy Awards, winning one for Best Supporting Actor for Arthur (as Hobson) in 1981.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1964Best Supporting ActorBecket (1964)King Louis VII of FranceNominated
1981Best Supporting ActorArthur (1981)HobsonWon
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John Gielgud Quotes:

Benjamin 'Dizzy' Disraeli, aka Lord Beaconsfield- Disraeli: In an autocracy, the leader is the people. Europe is at the mercy of the most ruthless band of autocrats the world has yet seen. I know these dictators, these men of blood and iron, they have one weakness; they are always in a hurry. Their god is power, and its kingdom is on this Earth. They are men without humility and without hearts. The virtues we hold dear they call weaknesses, and what we love they despise. They hold themselves a race apart, divinely ordained to rule the world to the exclusion of all others. That is a form of madness that must eventually destroy the world or be destroyed, it cannot be appeased by soft words or good neighbourliness. All civilised methods of approach to international agreement are signs of weakness to these men. They recognise one argument, and one argument alone - FORCE!


Cassius: [referring to Julius Caesar] And this man is now become a god.


The Marchesa: I am an old-fashioned woman, Mr. Faber. I believe in life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. But you have to know the rules of the game.


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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1981





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John Gielgud Facts
He played Benjamin Disraeli in both The Prime Minister (1941) and "Edward the King" (1975).

He believed that animals should not be exploited. He was particularly fond of birds and joined PETA's campaign against the foie gras industry in the early 1990s, narrating PETA's video exposé of the force-feeding of geese and ducks. Many chefs and restaurateurs who saw that video dropped foie gras from their menus. Sir John received PETA's Humanitarian of the Year Award twice, in 1994 and 1999.

His 1953 arrest for "soliciting homosexual acts" in a public lavatory was dramatized in 2008 as the play Plague Over England by Nicholas de Jongh.

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