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Last Updated:  Friday, 21 February, 2003, 14:59 GMT
British screen legends:
Laurence Olivier

Lawrence Olivier
Olivier was born in 1907
BBC News Online highlights the key acting figures in the development of the British film industry.

Arguably the greatest Shakespearean actor of all time Olivier also carved out a notable film career, which included a number of Hollywood films.

His first Hollywood role was the lead in Yellow Ticket and by the time he made Fire over England he was hot property, made even hotter by his well-publicized affair with his co-star, Vivien Leigh.

The fact both star were married at the time added to the publicity.

Key films
Henry V
Richard III
Wuthering Heights
Marathon Man
A Bridge Too Far
He became an international matinee idol with his role in Wuthering Heights as Heathcliff and made Shakespeare accessible to the cinema-going masses with his film production of Henry V, in which he starred and also directed.

He made films at a furious pace, all the while combining his theatre career, and battling ill health.

He died in 1989.

He was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning three, including an honorary award in 1980 for his film career and an earlier honorary award in 1948 for bringing Henry V to the stage.

He received eight Bafta fim nominations, which included wins for Richard III in 1955 and again in 1970 for Oh! What a Lovely War.

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