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An Actor and His Time

An Actor and His Time
Your Price: $23.95 CDN
Author: John Gielgud with John Miller and John Powell
Publisher: Applause Theatre Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 250
Pub. Date: 2000
ISBN-10: 1557834156
ISBN-13: 9781557834157

About the Book:

One of the greatest British actors of his generation, John Gielgud was the last survivor of that triumvirate of legendary theatrical knights – Sir Laurence Olivier, Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir John (he was knighted in 1953) – who dominated the British stage and Broadway and vitalized Shakespeare in what became a golden age of classical theatre.

In his memoir An Actor and His Time, with his own unique warmth and humour, John Gielgud tells the story of his life in the theatre. He describes an amazing range of people he came to know – not only Olivier and Chaplin, but George Bernard Shaw, T.S. Eliot and Lord Alfred Douglas, the notorious lover of Oscar Wilde. He recalls his great roles (such as Romeo, Macbeth and Lear), the productions he directed, the actors and actresses he worked with – from James Mason, Marlon Brando and Richard Burton to Elizabeth Taylor, Mrs. Patrick Campbell and Liza Minnelli – and the theatres in which he has played – from New York to Rangoon. He also tells of the theatre he knew as a young man, the theatre that was run by the great actor/managers, men like like Tree and du Maurier, and of the star actresses whose name alone could fill a theatre – Eleanor Dulse, Sarah Bernhardt and, of course, his own great-aunt, the renowned stage actress Ellen Terry. With the aid of photographs from his own collection, Sir John Gielgud has made this book not only a fascinating account of his own life, but also a well-documented record of over 50 years of British theatre.

What people say:

"Funny, touching, brilliant, special, the best – exactly like John Gielgud." — Lauren Bacall

"Gielgud: An Actor and His Time is ... a mellow memoir, a book that fascinates, informs, and entertains." — Christian Science Monitor

"Gielgud proves himself to be a storyteller of the highest order, making this essential reading for theatre lovers." — Literary Journal

"This rich and kindly remembrance of a brilliant career is the next best thing to sitting in his study while the grand old man sifts through his life and times." — New York Post

"A wonderful book ... the result is magical ... We have no better chronicler of the theatre in his time ... an astute observer, a sly humorist." — The Literary Review

"I can hear his superb voice every time." — Alec Guinness

"A fascinating account of a legendary career." — Sunday Telegraph

"Immensely entertaining ... Here are the first-hand stories of Ellen Terry, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, Sarah Bernhardt, Bernard Shaw, and Ralph Richardson, all told with a deferential flourish and an undiminished sparkly ... a rare treat that is also a book of important stage history." — The London Observer

About the Author:

Sir John Gielgud (1904-2000) was an English actor, director, and producer. One of the theatre's greatest legends, he spent almost 80 of the 96 years of his life appearing in countless plays that saw him portray every major Shakespearean role. He worked up to a month before his death, performing in over 60 films and numerous television productions when he wasn't busy with his stage work. One of the few entertainers who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award, he is also the oldest artist to complete the EGOT as he was 87.